Following the promotion of Boston Police Deputy James Chin to Superintendent of Community Engagement, Live Boston has been able to confirm that the longtime Bureau Chief Superintendent Nora Baston will be taking up a new post at the Boston Police Academy. Department spokesperson Sgt Detective John Boyle confirmed earlier this evening that Superintendent Baston will be leading the Academy as the new highest ranking department member assigned there.
A native Bostonian, born on Rexford Street, she has lived in Dorchester, Mattapan and Hyde Park, Baston is the fourth woman to ever hold the post of Boston Police Superintendent. She is a graduate of Boston Latin with two degrees from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She graduated from the Boston Police Academy in 1996 and has worked throughout the city. She has been a member of the department’s command staff for roughly 14 years and has worked as the commander of the community support division, zone commander in Area E, a liaison to the city’s homeless advocates, and has worked in both Area B-2 (Roxbury) and Area B-3 Mattapan, according to the department.
Baston Currently holds the civil service rank of Lieutenant with nearly 26 years on the job, and was promoted from Deputy to Superintendent by former Commissioner Gross in 2018 with the mission of building the then brand new Bureau of Community Engagement. Since her 2018 promotion, the Bureau has flourished hosting a number of community events, programs and initiatives. Working with at risk communities, school aged children, and community leaders, the Bureau has made a strong impact throughout the Boston area.
In an interview with the Boston Herald, Baston spoke about her passion for community engagement, “It means a lot when the kids hold onto their report cards all day just to show them to me,” she said. “The guns. Getting all those things, anyone can do that. That doesn’t impress me. Getting a kid and helping him out, getting him into school, getting him into college. A kid that dropped out, getting them back to school. That’s real police work.”
In May, Baston again made headlines when she was almost made Commissioner of the Boston Police Department, however that appointment fell through when Acting Mayor Janey bungled the removal of then Commissioner Dennis White who was facing accusations of domestic violence. In a 2019 interview with NBC 10, Baston talked about her hopes for her career, going on to say “ I want to be chief, someday I want to be commissioner.” For now the Boston Police Department still has no Commissioner and the Wu adminsition has not signaled when that may change.
We reached out to Superintendent Baston for comment on her hopes for the Boston Police Academy and how she plans on handling the ever evolving curriculum, especially now with the POST Commission, but we did not receive a response at the time of publishing.