William G. Gross

former Commissioner, Boston Police Department

Prior to founding WGG Consulting Services, William G. Gross served as the 42nd Police Commissioner of the City of Boston until his retirement in 2021. He was sworn in on August 6, 2018 by Mayor Martin J. Walsh, breaking down barriers by becoming the first person of color to hold the Police Commissioner’s position in the City of Boston. “I am honored and humbled to be sworn in as the Police Commissioner of the best police department in the country. Delivering and building on our community policing model is one of my main priorities. We will work collaboratively to reduce crime and violence in our neighborhoods while supporting and lifting up our youth.”

Commissioner Gross served the people of Boston for 37 years. After joining the department in 1983 as a Boston Police Cadet, he graduated from the Boston Police Academy in 1985. He spent years as a patrol officer, patrolling the neighborhoods of Boston. He was also assigned to the Youth Violence Strike Force and the Drug Control Unit, as well as an Instructor at the Boston Police Academy. He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 2004 and rated Sergeant-Detective in 2006. The majority of his supervisory years were spent serving the neighborhoods of the Dorchester section of the city.

In 2008 he was appointed to the Command Staff as a Deputy Superintendent and promoted to the rank of Superintendent in 2012, assuming the role of Night Commander overseeing police services citywide. In 2014, he was appointed by Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Police Commissioner William Evans to the position of Superintendent-in-Chief, the first African American Chief to hold the rank in the history of the Boston Police Department.

Throughout his career, he cultivated and maintained a strong connection with the community. He often could be found on the front lines interacting with community activists, grieving families, clergy, neighbors, and even protesters, treating everyone with respect and dignity. He strongly believes that “if you want change, you have to be the change,” a philosophy he models for the community and the members of the police department.

He has been awarded numerous Departmental awards for bravery and meritorious service and several Governor’s Citations including the Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Award; the United States Attorney’s Boston Offices ’Award For Outstanding Dedicated Service to the Survivors of the Boston Marathon Bombing during the Trial of United States v. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev; the Department of Justice Investigative Achievement Award and was named one of Boston’s 100 Most Influential People of Color. In June 2018, marking the 50th anniversary of the passing of Robert F. Kennedy, he was presented the Robert F. Kennedy “Embracing the Legacy” Award. This award recognizes those who work tirelessly to carry on the legacy of the late Senator by raising awareness and fighting against societal injustice and inequity that affect children and families.

Commissioner Gross is also affiliated with groups that are important to him both on a professional and personal level, such as the Massachusetts Major Cities Chiefs Association, the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, and the Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. of Eastern Massachusetts. He also sits on the Advisory Boards for the George Lewis Ruffin Society, Special Olympics of Massachusetts, and other organizations.

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