Declares commitment to community policing and evidence-based decision making at every level of department

SOMERVILLE—After the unanimous confirmation of his appointment by the
Board of Aldermen last week, Somerville’s new Chief of Police David Fallon has announced his transition plan and his intent to emphasize community policing and data-based decision making at every level of the department. The strategic 120-day plan includes personal meetings with every patrol officer to discuss community policing and problem solving. Among other items, additional steps and initiatives in the plan include designation of Command Staff including Deputy Chiefs and District Captains, a review of report writing procedures and development of a strategic plan to enhance forensic capabilities.

Born and raised in Somerville, Fallon joined the Somerville Police Department in 1998 as a patrolman. He rose through the ranks to sergeant, lieutenant, captain, and eventually deputy chief. His long list of accomplishments in the department is firmly rooted in the culture of evidence-based decision-making and community policing that grew from departmental reforms over the past decade. He aims to build upon these approaches, which have contributed to the significant drop in crime in Somerville by more than one-third since 2008.

“My core belief in the importance of community policing comes from witnessing over 16 years what the police and the community can do together,” said Fallon. “Community policing is a philosophy that emphasizes collaboration with community organizations, businesses, nonprofits and residents, and the SPD is best able to address public safety challenges when we work in conjunction with citizens and other city institutions to solve the issues that we face as a community. I look forward to working with every member of the community and department to make Somerville a national model of community policing.”

While the East District Commander, Fallon implemented the Police Department’s Smart Policing Grant, which reduces crime and repeat offenders by using data analysis to inform an evidence-based and problem-oriented policing model. The program is part of the only regional smart policing initiative in the country, in partnership with Cambridge and Everett.

“Data analysis and tracking is essential to effective policing, and the important next step in our department’s use of data is to layer crime analysis into each level within the police department from commanders to front line officers,” said Fallon. “My intent is for every patrolman to have an evidence-based understanding of the issues affecting the community and to be trained to effectively record data for future crime analysis.”

Fallon has already begun the process of appointing two new Deputy Chiefs and two District Commanders, and announcements are forthcoming. The transition plan also includes meetings with every member of the Board of Aldermen to discuss ward-based and community-wide issues.

“David Fallon exemplifies what we want in the Somerville Police Department—dedication to this city and its residents, a desire to find ways to reduce crime that go beyond arrests and convictions, a commitment to evidence-based decision making, and a spirit of collaboration. He has helped lay the foundation for the city’s progress on public safety over his past 16 years with the department, and as Chief of Police, I am confident he will continue to effectively serve the community by building upon that progress,” said Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone. “I am extremely pleased to work with Chief Fallon as the next leader of the Somerville Police Department.”

As East District Commander for two-and-a-half years, Fallon oversaw a 15 percent decrease in part one crimes—aggravated assault, rape, murder, robbery, arson, burglary, larceny-theft and motor vehicle theft—compared to the two-and-a-half years preceding his tenure as commander. Fallon’s last 12 months as East District Commander saw a 27 percent decline in robberies, a 37 percent decline in car breaks and a 38 percent decline in car thefts.

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