East Boston native and District A-7 Captain Kelley McCormick, who took over the reins of the neighborhood’s police station back in 2012 after Frank Mancini was promoted, announced he will be leaving Eastie.
Kelley, whose roots run deep in Eastie, has been promoted to Citywide Night Command.
“To quote Winnie the Pooh, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard,” said McCormick. “The Department has asked me to go to Citywide Night Command. As I look forward to the challenges and opportunities that await me, I want to take the time to thank all of my officers, superior officers, detectives, and civilian staff that made being the Captain of Area A-7 the greatest job in the Department. All of you were, and are out there every day making the “small differences” that create such great, positive change in the world. To the people of East Boston, thank you for the honor of being a returning son of East Boston who was allowed to come home to serve you, help you, or just be there if needed.”
McCormick is from an Irish family that settled here from Newfoundland in the 1890s. He spent time in Eastie and Springfield before returning to Homer Street during high school. A graduate of UMass Amherst, McCormick studied literature, took classes at a college in County Cork, Ireland and eventually went on to receive his law degree from Suffolk University Law School and is a member of the Massachusetts Bar.
Before arriving in Eastie almost a decade ago, McCormick had been a rising star on the force. He served in BPD’s gang unit, was a Captain in Jamaica Plain and served as Deputy Superintendent of Labor Relations before becoming A-7’s Captain.
A-7’s Elzabeth Ahern, who has worked under several A-7 Captains said McCormick was “the best of the best”.
“It has been an honor working for Captain McCormick and he will be missed by all of us,” she said. “I not only gained a boss when he came to A-7, I gained a lifelong friend and I will forever be grateful for that.”
BCYF Paris Street Community Center Director Nicole DaSilva, who regularly partnered with A-7 for community-wide events, said she wished McCormick all the best.
“This feels very bittersweet. I’m sad to see Captain McCormick go,” she said. “I want to thank the Captain for everything he’s done and to let him know he’ll be missed.”
McCormick became the epitome of community policing in Eastie and never passed on the opportunity to attend community group meetings, Eastie Little League and soccer games in his spare time, peace marches or just walking the neighborhood and talking with residents.
When he came back to Eastie, McCormick said one percent of the job is enforcement and the other 99 percent is community policing. So when problems arose McCormick’s philosophy was to tackle it as a community and his approach of bringing residents and community groups into the fold made Eastie one of the safest neighborhoods statistically in the city.
While the typical attitude towards police departments is, “We have a problem so what are you, the police, going to do about it?”.
During his tenure here, McCormick was able to change that attitude more towards, “We have a problem so what can we as a community do to help the police?”.