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  Friday, February 27, 2015
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xtra xtra!
September 5, 2013
We All Need Heroes
By Kevin Devlin

In the 1950’s Ed had the opportunity to interact with Boston Police in a positive and not adversarial manner. He became involved in the Boston Police’s “unofficial” junior mounted police program.    

“The program kept me out of trouble and busy,” said Ed. “We didn’t have many programs back then in Southie, so this was a tremendous opportunity. It was great for a city kid to be able to work with horses and interact with police officers in a positive way.”

Ed cherished the time spent grooming, feeding and riding the horses. He loved being mentored by Acting-Sergeant Dooley, who throughout the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s, led the Boston Mounted Police in practically every parade in Boston. “He was a major influence in my life,” said Ed.

“He was like a second father to me. He was a legend. Later in life, one of his grandchildren wrote to me telling me his grandfather was one of his heroes. I wrote back telling him he was my only hero.” 

Ed’s four years at the police stables strongly influenced him and changed his life. He met the future mother of his two children. Inspired by his beloved mentor, he launched the Silver Spur Riders, the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department Mounted Patrol and the Massachusetts County Mounted Patrol. Additionally, for a decade he served with the National Lancers, the cavalry arm of the State Militia. 

When Ed recalls his youthful days, his emotional ties to Sergeant Dooley resonate with respect and love. Ed preserved his 1950’s-era police memorabilia from that wonderful period in his life, and recently gave copies of them to the Boston Architectural College, which has pledged to preserve the building that once housed the stables. 

Several months ago, Ed was privileged to serve as a guide for Boston Police Commissioner, Edward Davis, and other city officials, as they viewed the exterior-preserved former-stables building. During the tour, he asked that the BPD, in conjunction with the Boston Transportation Department, install a memorial sign at Hereford Street and the public alley, which provided access and egress for the former stable, in honor of Acting-Sergeant Dooley. His request was subsequently approved. The actual dedication ceremony and installation of the memorial sign is yet to be determined

We all need heroes in our lives, and when we’re fortunate to meet such inspiring mentors, we forever remember, honor, respect, and cherish them.      

And I think Ed realizes that by being able to honor his mentor now in this fashion solidifies his wondrous circle of life. 

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