Lanita Cullinane was promoted to superintendent of the Boston Police Department’s Bureau of Field Services on Wednesday, officials said in a statement, making her the first woman in the department’s history to serve in the role that oversees all uniformed officers.
Cullinane, who first joined the department as an officer in June 1995, was previously deputy superintendent of the bureau. She replaces Superintendent Gerard Bailey, who has retired, according to Sergeant Detective John Boyle, the department’s chief spokesman.
Cullinane was not available for an interview Wednesday, Boyle said.
In a statement released by the department, Cullinane said she is grateful to Superintendent-in-Chief Gregory Long and Mayor Michelle Wu for their support in promoting her to the role.
“I’m excited to continue my career with the Boston Police Department to lead our officers in bolstering community partnership and ensuring safe streets,” she said in the statement.
The Bureau of Field Services is responsible for implementing community policing and “the delivery of effective and efficient police services to the community,” the statement said. The bureau is made up of the patrol divisions, special operations, street outreach unit, special events management, and field support division, including the Youth Violence Strike Force and the CityWide Bicycle Unit, the statement said.
Since she began as a police officer in Dorchester and Mattapan 27 years ago, Cullinane has ascended up the department’s ranks. She became a full-time instructor at the Boston Police Academy in 2001 and was promoted to detective in 2006, where she worked in recruit investigations, domestic violence, crimes against children, and human trafficking, the statement said. She joined the homicide unit in 2012 and was promoted to sergeant five years later. She was promoted again to sergeant detective in July 2018, the statement said.
“Throughout her career, Superintendent Cullinane has exemplified initiative, professionalism, integrity, and compassion,” Long said in the statement. “I look forward to watching Superintendent Cullinane as she leads the dedicated men and women of the Bureau of Field Services.”
Cullinane, a licensed certified social worker, has a master’s degree in social work from Boston University as well as master’s degrees in criminal justice and public administration from Suffolk University, the statement said. She also serves on the police department’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, as well as the Municipal Police Training Committee, and the Institute on Race and Justice Community Advisory Board at Northeastern University, the statement said.
“Superintendent Lanita Cullinane brings an extensive background working within several units and complex situations across multiple neighborhoods to ensure our residents have public safety support they need,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “I’m grateful to Superintendent Cullinane for her trailblazing leadership and years of service for our communities, and I look forward to working alongside her and our Commissioner to keep our residents safe, healthy, and connected.”