Boston Police Commissioner William Gross, the first black officer to hold the city's top position in the department, visited the House chamber on Monday, where he touted the benefits of community engagement before lawmakers got on with their busy agenda on the penultimate day of formal sessions.
"We go to the people, just as you do. We listen to the people, just as you do. And then together we make this city the best that it can be, because we believe in inclusion and being collaborative and being family," Gross told the assembled lawmakers on Monday.
From Willis Saunders, who was a member of the Tuskegee Airmen and a Boston Police commander, Gross said he learned how to work collaboratively with his colleagues.
"What we have here in the commonwealth is unique. We really do care about the people. We really do care about the quality of life. And we really do care about law enforcement, and I thank you for that on behalf of the families of the fallen," Gross said from the rostrum.
The veteran police officer who succeeded William Evans as the city's top cop a week earlier was the guest of the Black and Latino Legislative Caucus on Monday.
Gross also suggested that he would listen to feedback from Boston Rep. Byron Rushing, who is the assistant majority leader and an advocate for measures to reduce racial bias in policing.
"Trust me, if I was going to take a misstep, he would let me know about it," Gross said.