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Boston police suspend captain who is first Muslim to hold top commander rank

Captain Haseeb Hosein.
Captain Haseeb Hosein. (Boston Police Department)

The Boston Police Department’s first Muslim captain was placed on administrative leave Monday — and the department did not explain why.

Haseeb Hosein has worked for the department for more than 30 years and since 2014 has commanded the Area B-3 station, which covers Mattapan and parts of Dorchester.

He was suspended with pay, according to a written personnel order from Commissioner William Gross. Sergeant Detective John Boyle, the department’s chief spokesman, said Hosein is under investigation by the department’s Internal Affairs Division.

Boyle said he did not know the nature of the investigation. Police declined to provide a timeline for the investigation or say whether Hosein will face an administrative hearing.

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Hosein could not be reached for comment. The Boston Police Superior Officers Federation, a union that represents Boston police captains, did not respond to requests for comment.

Two Boston officers said the rank and file are shocked that Hosein was placed on leave.

“Everyone is in a state of disbelief,” said one law enforcement official who requested anonymity because the department does not allow employees to speak publicly without authorization. “And not knowing what’s going on, everyone is a bit disturbed.”

Hosein is “loved by the community” and popular in the department, the official said. “The guy would give you the shirt off his back,” the official said.

A high-ranking official in the department described Hosein as well-liked and a hard worker.

“His heart’s in the right place,” said the official, who was also not authorized to speak publicly. “He cares. He’s trying to make a difference.”

The Globe reported in February that Hosein ranked as the city’s highest-paid employee, collecting $366,232 in 2018. That total included $106,980 in detail pay, $62,696 in overtime pay, and regular pay of $146,893.

Hosein came to the United States from Trinidad when he was 10 years old and was raised in the Fields Corner area of Dorchester. He spent 11 years in the Marine Corps, earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts Boston and a master’s degree in criminal justice from Boston University. He is a father of three.

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Before becoming a police officer, he was a high school science teacher in Florida, then taught middle school science in Boston.

Hosein served a four-month suspension after an internal investigation in 2007 concluded that he and two other officers abused the department’s paid-detail system. An audit revealed that he engaged in untruthful reporting of hours, performed details that conflicted with a scheduled tour of duty, and received details through unauthorized means.

When Hosein was promoted to captain in 2014, former police commissioner William B. Evans said it was “both historic and an honor for me to promote the first black Muslim captain to my command staff.” At the time Mayor Martin J. Walsh praised Hosein as “an exceptionally skilled, qualified officer.”

“This promotion speaks to the promise both Mayor Walsh and Commissioner Evans made to diversify the BPD’s Command Staff,” department officials wrote in a press release. “We wish Haseeb — who will be assigned to District B-3 (Mattapan) — nothing but the best of success in his new position!”


Maria Cramer, Evan Allen, and John R. Ellement of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Gal Tziperman Lotan can be reached at gal.lotan@globe.com.

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