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Cut Through the Noise with Dave Turano

Sep 6, 2022

Attitudes toward law enforcement vary in this country. Some communities generally trust their police. Others clearly need reform. But officers all wear the same uniform–even one controversy affects us all. 

In 2006, Ed Cronin took over as the Chief of Police in what was then called “crime city.” At the time, Fitchburg, MA had a higher murder rate per capita than Boston, and a dropout rate of minority students of over 40%. 

But after learning about Boston’s method for reducing crime, Ed decided to take a more grassroots approach. He began holding neighborhood meetings, where he provided a platform for community members to voice their perspective–and for officers to listen. He realized that when it came to reducing crime, he already had the most valuable asset right in Fitchburg: the mothers, members of the clergy, business owners, school administrators, and community members who were equally concerned. 

Over time, Ed forged collaborative, trusting relationships between Fitchburg community members and police. Over time, the dropout rate decreased to under 8% of minority students, and last year, Fitchburg had just one murder. 

In this episode, Ed doesn’t just talk about Fitchburg. Through his research, decades of experience, and advising communities at home and abroad, Ed has learned that there are proactive–and more peaceful–approaches that we can take to police reform. They start with putting communities and officers at the center of the conversation. They start with accountability and leadership, both within communities and within law enforcement agencies. They start by acknowledging that we have to take the long road–but that doing so could transform the reputation of police for generations to come. 

Ed is a co-author of Just Policing: My Journey to Police Reform. Find him and his book at