Police Commissioner Dennis White, who was sworn in on Feb. 1 following the retirement of former Commissioner William Gross, has been placed on administrative leave as of Feb. 3 by Mayor Martin Walsh, following allegations of domestic violence.
The Boston Globe reported last Wednesday that the city will be conducting an outside investigation around “the handling of a 1999 allegation of domestic violence involving White,” the article states.
The article also states that the allegations include “that White pushed and threatened to shoot his then-wife, also a Boston police officer, and was later ordered to stay away from his family.”
The article continues on to say that a restraining order was issued on May 5, 1999 “that forced White to vacate his home, stay away from his wife and children, and surrender his service weapon,” and these allegations were denied by White “in court filings.” The Globe also reported that no evidence could be found “that White was charged with a crime.”
City Council President Kim Janey, who is poised to become acting mayor should Mayor Walsh be confirmed as labor secretary for the Biden administration, said in a statement to the Globe that “I have had the opportunity to work with Commissioner White while on the Council, but this is the first I am hearing of this issue, and I am deeply concerned. The public deserves transparency.”
White began his time with the department as a patrol officer in D6 in South Boston, Walsh said at the swearing-in ceremony on Monday, and then became D2 sergeant patrol supervisor and a sergeant detective in D4 in the South End and Internal Affairs.
“Before he joined the command staff in 2014, he was a lieutenant and duty supervisor in District 2 in Roxbury, District 3 in Mattapan, [and] District 13 in Jamaica Plain,” Walsh said. “He served as Deputy Superintendent in the Office of Superintendent and Chief in the Bureau of Field Services Night Command. He was promoted then to chief of staff…to the rank of superintendent.”
White is also a member of the Boston Police Reform Task Force. He has served with the Boston Police Department for 32 years.
“In an attempt to create a smooth transition and honor former Commissioner Gross’s desire to spend time with his family, Dennis White was asked to quickly step into the role of Police Commissioner, beginning last Friday.,” Walsh said in a statement.
“These disturbing issues were not known to me or my staff, but should have been at the forefront. Upon learning of these serious allegations, I immediately acted, placing the Commissioner on administrative leave, while corporation counsel engages outside counsel to conduct a full and impartial investigation. In the interim, Superintendent-in-Chief Gregory Long will serve as acting Commissioner.”