Boston's police commissioner, William Evans, is stepping down, and his departure has made room for black history.

According to The Hill, Mayor Martin Walsh confirmed Superintendent-in-Chief William Gross would take over the post, making him the city's first black police chief. In fact, Gross is not only the first black police chief but the first person of color to hold the position in the city's history. Boston's police department currently consists of 2,200 sworn officers. 

Evans will be moving on to run Boston College's public safety department, according to The Boston Globe.

According to MassLive, Gross became a Boston police officer in 1985. Gross made his way up the ranks, eventually becoming the highest-ranking police officer in the department. He made history in 2014 when he became the city's first black superintendent-in-chief. 

“We’re losing an incredible leader today and bringing in someone right behind him who’s an incredible leader,” said Mayor Walsh during a press conference on Monday, July 23. 

“He was the first person that opened his door to us in the body camera movement,” said Boston Police Camera Action Team member Segun Idowu, who said he sat down with Gross four years ago to discuss body cameras for officers.

Though the new appointment makes history, some wish the community was more involved in the decision-making process, including Idowu, according to WBUR.

“When it comes to either elected or appointed positions, I will always side with robust community conversation over who should lead in particular departments,” he noted. “I do support Commissioner Gross. I like him personally. I think he's a good fit for the position, but I would have loved for community process to have been engaged.”

“We don't just want diversity for the sake of diversity, for the image and the optics of it,” said community activist and Blackstoninan editor Jamarhl Crawford. “We want the best that we can get and if we don't do a search, I'm pretty sure there was no process, there's no other candidates [sic], there's no competition.”

Gross said he is honored to take over as the department's leader and is ready for the challenges ahead. 

“This is my sincere thanks to the community for helping to raise me, guide me and mentor me,” said Gross, reports The Associated Press.

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