It is the first public sign of disharmony between Davis and his rank-and-file officers, and the commissioner’s speech was subsequently put on hold, although BPD spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll denied the union vote factored into that decision, instead citing “scheduling conflicts” and “logistics,” according to the Herald story.
Thomas Nee, president of the beat cops' union, pointed to what he said was falling morale, and said tensions with headquarters were at a “boiling point” during the 54-member governing board’s March 21 vote to picket Davis’ speech.
Driscoll told the Herald she was unaware of the union action and said the event will be rescheduled in the coming weeks.
Davis’ five-year tenure has featured largely harmonious relations between top police brass and the rank-and-file officers, but the patrolmen’s vote signals a major departure from that model.
“Working conditions on the police force are not good: punitive transfers and other forms of punishment and retaliation, as well as entering a third year without a contract, are taking their toll,” Nee told the Herald. “Morale and confidence (are) down—enough is enough. The future doesn’t look bright from our view.”
Nee, whose union represents Boston’s 1,500 patrol officers, also said Davis is out of touch with the men and women on the street and that cops are transferred for using personal days, arbitrarily punished and that patrolmen no longer believe they have the support of the department, according to the Herald.
Driscoll said reports of morale problems within the ranks of patrol officers comes as news to the administration.
“That is not something that we believe to be the case,” Driscoll told the Herald, “but if the union has concerns, we want to hear about them ... The police commissioner welcomes all discussions with the union. If they have any cares or concerns, he would like them to come in and have those discussions.”
Davis announced a meeting for Friday where he would touch on the future of the department two weeks ago. He described the event as a rundown of the BPD’s achievements over the past five years and a look to the future, according to the Herald story.
Jamaica Plain is served by the at Washington and Green.