Former New York City police commander and Minneapolis police chief Anthony Bouza died on June 26 at 94. Bouza received praise and criticism for his emphasis on research and often blunt remarks about policing. He introduced new anti-crime tactics in Minneapolis, reports the New York Times. Born in Spain, he was the NYPD's highest-ranking Hispanic official when he stepped down in the mid-1970s. Bouza stood out for speaking his mind and being a self-confessed maverick. “In New York,” he once said, “the police code of silence is stronger than the Mafia’s code of omerta.” Comments like that and provocative phrases like “feral children” and “malign neglect” made him a lightning rod.
Critics called him an aloof logician who was loose with statistics. The backlash was partly generated by his experimentation with innovative policing that disrupted the status quo. “It is hard to find any police executive before or since who has made such giant strides forward in police research,” said criminologist Lawrence Sherman of the University of Cambridge in Britain in 2012. “Bouza was the first to articulate the importance of medical-style clinical trials of police practices with individual offenders and specific street locations.”