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The Boston Globe


lawrence harmon

Newton needs a police chief from outside system

Long before a group of Newton Police officers hit upon the brilliant idea of egging their supervisor’s home, it was clear that there was something rotten in the culture of the Newton Police Department. As a search gets underway in earnest for a new chief of the 139-officer department, Newton Mayor Setti Warren would do his constituents a big favor by hiring a new chief with no connection to the Garden City.

With its low crime rate, strong schools, handsome homes, and good transit connections, Newton ranks at or near the top of the best places to live in Massachusetts. It’s not a place where one might expect to find police officers behaving like dolts. But the wakeup call came in October when Matthew Cummings, the former Newton police chief, was terminated after a city investigation concluded that he made “boorish, disrespectful, and insulting’’ remarks to female employees, including telling his former secretary that she looked like a “whore.’’

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