New Police Commissioner Dennis White Placed on Administrative Leave following Emergence of Domestic Violence Allegations

Police Commissioner Dennis White, who was sworn in on February 1 following the retirement of former Commissioner William Gross, has been placed on administrative leave as of February 3 by Mayor Martin Walsh, following allegations of domestic assault.

The Boston Globe reported on 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 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.”

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 BPD 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.”

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