Boston Globe, November 2021
A recent pair of confrontationsthatleft two suspects dead and sent four Boston police officers to the hospital could further complicate one of the thorniest policy problems Mayor-elect Michelle Wu will face after being sworn in next week: Making good on her campaign pledge to substantially overhaul the city’s approach to policing.
On the campaign trail, Wu was a vocal supporter of deep and systemic reform for the police. Among her plans, and one that set her apart from some of her rivals, was her intention of using collective bargaining for the police union contracts as a means to realize changes in the scandal-plagued department. But now, even before the start of her historic tenure in City Hall’s fifth floor corner office, she must contend with questions and concerns raised by the two violent episodes that both ended with police fatally shooting suspects and shook the nation’s oldest police force.
During a Wednesday news conference, Wu, who also will select the next police commissioner, was peppered with questions about the recent spate of violence, including one inquiry that asked if she still supported allocating money away from police, a stance she took during the campaign. She replied by saying her administration plans to bolster resources for a pilot program that would provide an alternative response—meaning social workers or clinicians—to calls that require mental health expertise.