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Maria Cheevers

Director, Office of Research and Development, Boston Police Department

Maria C. Cheevers, M.Ed., has been the Director of the Boston Police Department’s (BPD) Office of Research and Development (ORD) since March 2011. Within this role, she leads a staff of eight in the development and administration of up to $23 million dollars per year in grant funds to pilot, implement, research, and evaluate a wide range of City of Boston (COB) public safety initiatives.  In addition, the ORD provides data for and evaluates promising policing practice such as the BEST Mental Health Dual Response Model, the HUB community policing model, many COB youth violence prevention efforts; such as the Safe and Successful Youth Initiative, and the Shannon grant program, and a wide range of other initiatives funded by the State of MA, the federal government and private foundations.

Prior to her return to the BPD, for eleven years Ms. Cheevers co-owned Grants Etcetera, Inc., a consulting practice that worked with non-profit and governmental organizations on a wide range of capacity-building efforts, within an even wider range of specialty areas (i.e. public safety, youth violence prevention, Girls Programming, anti-gender based violence efforts, etc.). 

From 2000-2003, Ms. Cheevers led the Boston Coalition Against Drugs and Violence as Executive Director. Within that role, she developed and implemented Massachusetts’s (MA’s) first comprehensive reentry model for young girls returning to Boston from MA’s Department of Youth Services (DYS) treatment facilities, known as the Female Focus Initiative

In 1994, while Assistant Director of the BPD’s ORD, Ms. Cheevers led the creation of YouthConnect, an award-winning best practice model that matches high-risk youth and families with case management, clinical support, and programming via Boston police officers. 

Ms. Cheevers began her career in 1988 as a dropout prevention case manager within the Chelsea Public Schools. She holds a Master of Education degree from Boston University. She currently serves as the Co-Chair of the City of Boston’s CEASE (Collaborative Efforts Against Sexual Exploitation) effort; an Advisory Board Member for the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Services; and a community volunteer for local nonprofits.

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