Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.
Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/782418
"Even in Wellesley, racism and implicit biases can seep into our police department just as it can in our resident population. But, our job as police administrators is to root it out of the depart- ment," explains Cunningham. "99.9 percent of our officers do an incredible job, but law enforce- ment is one of the few professions where we expect a batting average of a thousand." Cunningham recounts the "1990 Dee Brown Wellesley incident," which, Brown calls a case of "mistaken identity, not racism." Cunningham was actually involved in the widely publicized event that followed on the heels of five local bank robberies, when the manager of the South Shore bank on Route 16 called 911 to say that the person who had robbed their bank was sitting in a car parked across from the Wellesley Hills Post Office. The police responded, surrounded Dee and his fiancée and ordered them to lie face down on the pavement. In less than two min- utes, the detective on the scene realized Brown was not their guy, and he was never arrested. Cunningham has deep roots in Wellesley. He grew up in town, attending Hardy Elementary, Wellesley Junior High, and Senior High schools before putting himself through Northeastern University as a criminal justice major and then graduating from the Massachusetts Police Academy. Cunningham's maternal grandfather, who also lived in town, founded the Wellesley Volunteer Police during WWII when many of police officers were redeployed to the military. Cunningham credits his grandfather for sparking his lifelong interest in law enforcement. In 1981, Cunningham joined the volunteer police group, and in 1983, he launched his career as a patrolman in his beloved hometown. In addition to serving as president of the IACP, he has served as president of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, and president of the Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council, an organization he founded. In 2017, Cunningham assumed the role of deputy executive director at the IACP. In a 78 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s p r i n g 2 0 1 7 an interview with Terrence "Terry" M. Cunningham