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Fmr. Boston Police Commissioner to Review ‘Blarney Blowout’ Response

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AMHERST, Mass. (WGGB) — UMass Amherst says that they have tapped Boston’s former police commissioner to review the preparedness and responses to large, crowd-related disturbances, including last weekend’s ‘Blarney Blowout.’

The university announced Thursday that they have retained the services of former Commissioner Ed Davis to look how school and town officials handled large events, including the ‘Blarney Blowout.’

Dozens were arrested and four officers were injured during Saturday during the event.

The review, according to UMass, will include campus and community preparation prior to the event, as well as examining the conduct of first responders, university officials, and town leaders during and following the disturbance.

UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy says in a statement, “Commissioner Davis is an outstanding choice for this assignment. He is regarded as one of the country’s top law enforcement experts and he will draw upon his longtime success in community policing to help us prevent a recurrence of last week’s disturbing events. This initiative has the support of our community partners in Amherst town government, a cooperative approach vital to solving this difficult problem.”

Davis began his law enforcement career in 1978 when he joined the Lowell Police Department. He would continue to work his way way up the ranks, before then-Boston Mayor Tom Menino appointed him as Boston’s police commissioner in 2006.

He stepped down from the Commissioner’s post last year, and is now a fellow John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, as well as a private security analyst who leads Dynamic Ideas Security.

Davis adds in a statement, “We will look at everything to recommend best practices that can be adopted to ensure public safety in way that does not result in civil unrest. I am confident that both the town and the university community will benefit from this review.”

Once complete, Davis’ report will deliver his report to Subbaswamy, with copies going to UMass President Robert Caret and UMass Board of Trustees Chairman Henry Thomas.

Subbaswamy also noted Thursday that the disciplinary process for any UMass students involved in the ‘Blarney Blowout’ is underway. He adds that the university will “take appropriate disciplinary action against those who violated our Code of Student Conduct.”


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