Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Boston Globe June 4, 1976 David Farrell


The Boston Globe - Tuesday, June 4 1974 - By David Farrell

Supt. Sullivan retiring as police rift flares

"Boston Police Supt. Jeremiah P. Sullivan will retire from the department on July 16. Sullivan is the second top superior officer to announce his retirement since the hassle last March between the commissioner and some of the top members of his staff.
A month ago Supt.-in-charge William J. Taylor advised diGrazia that he was getting out in September.
Sullivan told diGrazia that his wife's illness and a desire to spend more time with her and other members of his family were factors in his decision to retire.
He also said that he and one of his sons, Jeremiah Jr. an assistant district attorney in Suffolk County, were planning to to work together in the establishment and development of a school for policemen seeking promotional advancement.
The superintendent, who has been one of the outstanding superior officers in the department during the past two decades, made no mention of the difficulties between diGrazia and some of the high ranking members of his staff.
But it is no secret at 154 Berkley st. that relations between the commissioner and Sullivan, Taylor, and other staff officers have been severely strained.
The inability or unwillingness of diGrazia to communicate and level with these officers is the real reason for the retirements of Taylor and Sullivan.
Another high ranking officer who was busted from superintendent's rank by the commisioner several months ago is expected to follow suit and submit his retirement papers.
Capt. James L. Buchanan, who was offered the commissioner's post by Mayor White two years ago, has been shelved by diGrazia in a humiliating manner totally unbecoming his long years of dedication and integrity. He is now confined to an upstairs office in traffic with nothing to do.
The loss of these men, who have the respect and admiration of the non-white as well as white community, will be a severe blow to the police department's efforts to hurdle the forthcoming crises anticipated with the busing of school children.
Supts. Sullivan and Taylor have been upset at the manner in which diGrazia's so-called whiz kids have walked all over the superior officers, a point not overlooked by Mayor White.
The mayor reportedly has had his fill of one of them and his days as a member of the commissioners civilian staff are numbered.
The Taylor retirement announcement in May disturbed the mayor, but the decision by Sullivan to leave is expected to upset the mayor even nore because if it's implications to the public.
Sullivan is so highly regarded by the community and by the patrolmen that his departure will affect adversely the already low morale on the PD.
The brush which triggered the final collapse of relations between diGrazia and the superior officers occured three months ago at a staff meeting at headquarters. The meeting was rocked by some vigorous comments by Sullivan and others on some moves being proposed by the civilian staff and bought by diGrazia. The superior officers felt that thier long years of experience were being scrapped and tossed aside.
After the confrontation became public , Mayor White called in the commissioner and told him to cool it and lower his public profile.
The mayor also was upset at a statement diGrazia made at a Harvard Law Enforcement session at which he said he hoped the city's 2500 policemen would go on strike so that he could get rid of most of them and begin anew with a neucleus of the 125 good men.
As for Supt. Sullivan, he departs with the knowledge that he left a legacy of impeccable integrity and a record of accomplishmentwith under privilaged groups that even the whiz kids -elated as they must be in that another obstacle in their path has been removed-will have to concede.

-David Farrell is a Globe political columnist. "


I found this article folded up with some others in my Grandfather's belongings. My Grandfather Charles McIntyre retired from the Boston Police in 1976 and although he never discussed his job with his 5 year old grand daughter , he was surely right in the middle of one of the more troubled times in Boston history.