Boston top cop: ‘Incredible things happened’ after bombings

May 18, 2013 by  
Filed under Solar Energy Tips

Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis hands his business card to Adhishri Hande, 10, of Lowell, whose father, social entrepreneur Harish Hande, will join Davis as an honorary degree recipient at today’s UMass Lowell commencement, as Adhishri’s mother, Rupal Trivedi, looks on. Davis spoke at a commencement eve dinner about the recent Boston Marathon bombings and investigation. SUN/Julia Malakie

Sun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our MyCapture site.

LOWELL — Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis earned himself a national reputation modeling community policing when he was the superintendent of the Lowell Police Department for 12 years.

Community policing is what helped bring about the capture of the suspects involved in the bombings that devastated the Boston Marathon just over a month ago, Davis said, speaking at an awards celebration Friday night on the eve of commencement exercises at UMass Lowell.

“We chased these guys down because the public saw the picture. We caught these guys because the public saw the picture,” Davis said. “We worked closely with the public and incredible things happened.”

The Commencement Eve Celebration, held at the UML Inn and

Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis is presented with a clock by graduating UMass Lowell senior Jimmy Walker, 22, of Tyngsboro. Walker, a business major, finished the Boston Marathon in 3:19 and was still recovering near the finish line when the first bomb went off. Walker battled back from two cases of bacterial meningitis and four related brain surgeries in 2004 and 2010. SUN/Julia Malakie

Sun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our MyCapture site.

Conference Center, raised $725,000 for student scholarships, breaking a record for the funds raised for the sixth year in a row.

Dozens of students were presented with awards and distinguished alumni were presented honorary degrees.

Davis, who grew up in Lowell, will be the commencement speaker at today’s ceremony where bachelor’s degrees will be conferred. He will also receive an honorary degree from UMass Lowell.

Davis said within 30 minutes of the bombings on April 15, he went to the manager of the Lenox Hotel on Boylston Street at the scene of the bombings and asked him to empty the hotel, which became the command post for law enforcement.

Within one day, the guests were gone.

“The staff were all told

to go home, but they came back of their own accord because the cops needed to be fed. So they fed the cops,” Davis said.

For 48 hours, hotel staff prepared three square meals a day. The Boston Globe reported at one breakfast alone law enforcement ate more than 90-dozen eggs and about 1,700 strips of bacon.

“The federal agents and the cops felt bad when they realized the staff wasn’t being paid, so they start leaving tips,” Davis said. “Big tips, which cops don’t usually do that,” eliciting laughter from the audience.

“The story that exemplifies the way that people acted in the city of Boston, goes like this: Those kids who got those tips, collected them and turned them into the One Fund,” Davis said, adding that is the thing that chokes him up after all he saw that week.

“It show this term ‘Boston Strong’ is embedded in a feeling of cooperation and support among the residents in our city because this is a real community and it plays itself out right here in this room. It’s the people who come here and who support this university who have that same foresight and commitment to the community.”

Davis shared what he called “facts,” surrounding the events of the 102 hours between the first explosion and

Writer and UMass professor Andre Dubus, left, chats with honorary degree recipient and social entrepreneur Harish Hande of Bangalore and his wife, Rupal Trivedi.
SUN/Julia Malakie

Sun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our MyCapture site.

one suspect’s arrest, but what he shared were insightful details about the tragedy that killed four people and wounded more than 260.

Davis said his Operation Urban Shield training conducted by Homeland Security prepared him to think about immediately calling the head of Boston’s FBI office and head of the Massachusetts State Police when he got a call from Superintendent-in-Chief Daniel Linskey that there were two explosions near the finish line of the marathon.

He said after the suspects began throwing bombs at police officers in Watertown, every tank or tactical unit that was requested of the federal government was delivered.

More than 1,800 National Guardsmen were deployed to monitor the streets of Boston.


Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis chats with his successor as Lowell police superintendant, Ken Lavallee, who recently retired, after speaking at a graduation eve dinner at the UMass Lowell Inn Conference Center.
SUN/Julia Malakie

Sun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our MyCapture site.

Davis was on national and international television giving press conferences in Watertown, he hadn’t slept for 40 hours.

“I really didn’t know what I was saying,” he said.

That Thursday night, around midnight, Davis went to go to bed, but got a call from the Watertown police chief who said the suspects were throwing bombs at his officers. Davis had left his gun at the office and had to borrow his son Eddie’s gun before he went out to the scene. Eddie is also a police officer.

UML alumnus Harish Hande, who manages a solar company in India that delivers solar electricity to the country’s poor, will speak at this afternoon’s ceremony conferring master’s degrees.

Hande, who received his masters in renewable-energy engineering from UML in 1998 and a doctorate two years later in mechanical engineering, said UMass Lowell was leading the way in the field of sustainable energy the 1980s.

“In terms of having discussions with writers and thinkers… it changed the thought process about what sustainability was,” he said of his time at UMass Lowell. “Social infrastructure needs to be in place before you remove poverty.”

Local philanthropist Nancy Donahue was also honored Friday night as an honorary degree recipient. Donahue co-founded the Merrimack Valley Repertory Theatre.

Mark and Elisia Saab, of Lowell, who founded Advanced Polymers Inc., in Salem, N.H., were also honorary degree recipients.

The Saabs are the largest individual donors to the university. The new $80 million Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center was named in their honor.

Mark Saab said his advice to graduates is to take every opportunity that comes your way.

Follow Sarah Favot on Twitter @sarahfavot.

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