Community Relations Service
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE COMMUNITY RELATIONS SERVICE (CRS)
NEW ENGLAND REGIONAL DIRECTOR MARTIN A. WALSH TO RETIRE AFTER 35 YEARS SERVICE
| FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 27, 2003
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the Community Relations Service (CRS), a component of the U.S. Department of Justice, announced that Northeast Regional Director Martin A. Walsh will retire on June 27, 2003, after 35 years of distinguished service with the agency. Mr. Walsh has been the Regional Director of the New England Regional Office located in Boston, Massachusetts since 1974. This office serves Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
Mr. Walsh began his career with the Community Relations Service as a Community Relations Officer in 1968, and rose through other field operations positions in Washington, D.C. He has provided steady leadership in the resolution of community racial conflict in the New England Region and on education, policing and excessive use of force national initiatives. From 1967 to 1968, he was a consultant to the Community Service Administration (formerly the Office of Economic Opportunity, or OEO as it was commonly known) and developed pilot community development corporations in 14 cities throughout the country. From 1965 to 1967, he was the Deputy Director of the Office of Community Services for the Catholic Diocese of Miami, Florida.
In 1996, when national attention focused on the burning of African American churches and a targeted Federal response was implemented by the Department of Justice, Mr. Walsh was chosen to lead the CRS effort. There was an immediate need to mobilize a special effort to mediate community tensions as Federal, State, and local law enforcement began their investigations in traumatized communities. Mr. Walsh accepted the challenge, formed a team, and involved them in CRS' community mediation efforts to resolve community racial tensions and help in church rebuilding efforts.
Each year, the New England Regional Office staff under Walsh's leadership has provided direct services to more than 100 communities throughout the Region. While this alone would be a formidable accomplishment in and of itself, the New England Regional Office staff has consistently gone well beyond the call of duty. For 19 years, the New England Region has cosponsored a New England education conference with State school departments and many other New England cities to resolve critical school racial issues. In this same way, the New England Regional Office has brought together police chiefs from throughout New England to share best practices and approaches toward addressing police policies and practices affecting relationships between minority communities and law enforcement.
Mr. Walsh helped lead a CRS working group in the early 1980's which brought police chiefs from across the country together to find new approaches to policing problems. From this working group emerged a collection of principles and a philosophy of policing which is now commonly known as "community-oriented policing." CRS' work with the police chiefs resulted in the 1982 publication of Principles of Good Policing: Avoiding Violence Between Police and Citizens, which was revised in 1993 to include an enhanced section on community-oriented policing. CRS' case work and the need to address community policing issues resulted in the publications Police Use of Deadly Force and Police Use of Excessive Force. To strengthen municipal government structures to respond to racial issues, the New England Regional office led the way in the establishment of human relations commissions as permanent mechanisms for city governments and minority communities to strengthen communications and solve problems on the local level. CRS' best practices were captured in the 1970's publication Guidelines for Establishing Human Relations Commissions, one of CRS' original publications. Avoiding Racial Conflict: A Guide for Municipalities, another handbook with best practices for local government, was also published in the early 1990s. Mr. Walsh was an integral force in the development of all of these publications, which have been instrumental in helping communities solve their own racial problems along with technical and conciliation assistance from the Community Relations Service.
In 1998, Mr. Walsh played a pivotal role in convening and facilitating organizational meetings on hate crime issues, which led to the development of a working committee, composed of other Department of Justice Agencies, civil rights organizations, and the national police officer standards for training officials. The working committee wrote four hate crimes training curriculums for core training, patrol officers, investigators, and police managers.
During the Boston School Desegregation Crisis in 1974, Federal Judge Arthur Garrity turned to Mr. Walsh and the Community Relations Service to bridge the gulf between communities and schools. During this critical period, CRS deployed 20 or more conciliators to Boston on a rotating schedule to help restore peaceful relations. CRS helped create multiracial parent and student councils at each school, and established a city-wide parent council operation. CRS provided technical assistance for establishing a school security force, enlisted the active support of businesses, universities, and cultural institutions in upgrading the curriculum of Boston public schools, and conciliated and defused numerous racial incidents and crises associated with the desegregation process. CRS was a leading force in the formation of the Greater Boston Civil Rights Coalition, which became a major means for educating the broader community on civil rights issues and resolving major civil rights problems by bringing together a diverse range of participants.
During his long career, Mr. Walsh has received many awards for his accomplishments. He has twice received the Attorney General's Distinguished Service Award (1976 and 2001). This is the highest award given by the U.S. Department of Justice. He is one of the few individuals to have ever received it twice. He received the Community Relations Service Director's Achievement Award in 1999 and the Community Relations Service Milton D. Lewis Career Recognition Award for Human Relations Service in 1998. In 1997, he received the U.S. Department of Justice Award for Exemplary Service on the Church Burning Response Team. He has also received leadership and distinguished service awards from a number of organizations, including: Action for Boston Community Development Award (1988), Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts (1986), Project Commitment (1985), and the Anti-Defamation League (1982).
Mr. Walsh received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1960 from Josephinum College in Worthington, Ohio, a Master of Arts degree in 1965 from Catholic University in Washington, D.C., and undertook doctoral studies at the University of Maryland in College Park.
Mr. Walsh and his wife reside in Wellesley, Massachusetts, where together they raised five children.
The Community Relations Service, a component of the U.S. Department of Justice, offers conflict resolution and mediation services to communities affected by issues of race, ethnicity and national origin. More information about the U.S. Department of Justice, Community Relations Service can be found at www.usdoj.gov/crs.