Military Wiki
Francis Roache
Roache as Commissioner of Police of Boston
Suffolk County Register of Deeds

In office
2002 – December 31, 2015
Member of the Boston City Council

In office
Boston Police Commissioner

In office
March 13, 1985 – June 30, 1993
Personal details
Born (1936-08-03)August 3, 1936
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Died December 17, 2018(2018-12-17) (aged 82)
Spouse(s) Barbara Campers
Children Barbara, Donna, Paula, Michael, and Lori
Alma mater Boston State College
Occupation Policeman and politician
Military service
Service/branch  United States Marines

Francis Michael Roache[1] (August 3, 1936 – December 17, 2018) was an American policeman and politician who served as the Boston Police Commissioner from 1985 to 1993, was a member of the Boston City Council from 1996 to 2002, and was Suffolk County Register of Deeds from 2002 to 2015.

Early life and education

Roache was born in South Boston, and was a 1954 graduate of South Boston High School.[2] He then served in the United States Marine Corps until 1959,[2] and worked for Sears Roebuck in The Fenway neighborhood of Boston for 10 years,[3] while attending Boston State College.[4]


Roache (left) being sworn in as Police Commissioner by Boston Mayor Raymond Flynn in 1985
From left: two policemen, Roache, Raymond Flynn
Roache giving a speech

Law enforcement

Roache joined the Boston Police Department (BPD) in 1968.[5] On February 1, 1985, as a lieutenant who headed the BPD's Community Disorders Unit,[6] Roache was appointed acting Police Commissioner.[7] On March 13, he was sworn in as permanent Commissioner by his lifelong friend, Mayor of Boston Raymond Flynn.[8][9]

During his tenure as Commissioner, Roache instituted mandatory drug testing for BPD employees and won praise for his efforts to root out corruption in the department.[8][10]

Roache was Commissioner during the Charles Stuart case.[11] The police's mishandling of the case caused African-American leaders to call for Roache's resignation.[12] In December 1990, the Massachusetts Attorney General's office released a report which detailed a variety of civil rights violations committed by the BPD. Violations described in the report included random frisking of minority youth and coercing witnesses to testify in the Stuart case.[13]

After several shootings of unarmed victims by police, alleged mismanagement in the Internal Affairs Department, and a report issued by United States Attorney Wayne Budd detailing allegations of police misconduct, Mayor Flynn was pressured to fire Roache.[14][15] Flynn refused to fire Roache, which caused critics of the police department to claim that Roache's friendship with the Mayor was the reason he was still Commissioner. During the 1991 mayoral election, candidate Edward J. Doherty promised that if elected, he would fire Roache.[16] Flynn appointed a commission led by Boston attorney James D. St. Clair to investigate the BPD. The commission recommended that Flynn fire Roache.[17] On June 24, 1993, Roache announced his resignation, effective June 30.[18]


After his resignation, Roache became a candidate for Mayor of Boston in the 1993 election to succeed Ray Flynn, who had resigned to become United States Ambassador to the Holy See. Roache finished in seventh place in the preliminary election with 3.01% of the vote.[19]

Roache was elected to the Boston City Council in November 1995 as an at-large councilor.[20] He was reelected in 1997, 1999, and 2001. In 2002, he left the City Council to become Suffolk County Registrar of Deeds, a position he held until his resignation on December 31, 2015.[8][21]

Personal life

Roache and his wife, Barbara (née Campers), raised five children: Barbara, Donna, Paula, Michael, and Lori.[22] They resided in Quincy, Massachusetts, and later the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston.[2] He was a practicing Roman Catholic, often attending mass daily.[2] Roache died on December 17, 2018, at the age of 82.[2][5]


  1. Quill, Ed (February 1, 1985). "Francis M. Roache—laid-back, yet 'tough'". p. 1. Retrieved December 18, 2018. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Valencia, Milton J. (December 17, 2018). "Former Boston Police Commissioner Francis ‘Mickey’ Roache dies at 82". Retrieved December 17, 2018. 
  3. Quill, Ed (February 1, 1985). "Francis M. Roache—laid-back, yet 'tough' (cont'd)". p. 2. Retrieved December 18, 2018. 
  4. "What is Boston Police Commission Francis M. Roache's background?". December 27, 1987. p. 35. Retrieved December 18, 2018. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Szaniszlo, Marie (December 17, 2018). "Former Boston Police Commissioner Francis ‘Mickey’ Roache dies". Retrieved December 17, 2018. 
  6. "Blacks Return To Boston Project Decade After Uproar". April 15, 1984.,5019898. Retrieved 9 June 2011. 
  7. "3 killed, 3 wounded in Boston violence". February 4, 1985.,1280036. Retrieved 8 June 2011. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Scharfenberg, David (January 6, 2016). "Suffolk Register of Deeds Resigns". The Boston Globe. Retrieved March 12, 2016. 
  9. Quill, Ed (March 13, 1985). "Roache to be Sworn in Today as Permanent Commissioner". Retrieved 8 June 2011. 
  10. "Drug testing ordered for all Boston Police". April 25, 1986.,1511872. Retrieved June 8, 2011. 
  11. "Outrage follows Boston shootings". October 25, 1989.,7612753. Retrieved 8 June 2011. 
  12. "Racial tensions boil over in Boston over murder". January 6, 1990.,1338926. Retrieved June 9, 2011. 
  13. "State faults Boston murder investigation". December 19, 1990.,2787730. Retrieved 9 June 2011. 
  14. "For 3rd time, mayor throws hat into ring". July 28, 1991.,4786082. Retrieved 9 June 2011. 
  15. "Channel 4 issues call for Roache's resignation". October 10, 1991. Retrieved 9 June 2011. 
  16. Locy, Toni; Sean P. Murphy (September 4, 1991). "Many call for changes in police leadership". Retrieved 9 June 2011. 
  17. Jackson, Derrick Z. (January 5, 1992). "A call for Flynn to make his legacy". Retrieved 9 June 2011. 
  18. "Police commissioner quits". June 25, 1993.,5933387. Retrieved 9 June 2011. 
  19. "Election Results". The City of Boston. Archived from the original on 7 September 2011. Retrieved 5 June 2011. 
  20. Walker, Adrian (September 20, 1995). "O'Neil, Roache win big Iannella is 3d, Davis-Mullen 4th in council preliminary". Retrieved 9 June 2011. 
  21. Silberman, Ellen J. (September 19, 2002). "First Latino to join Hub City Council when Roache assumes Register post". Retrieved 9 June 2011. 
  22. Walker, Adrian (July 29, 1993). "Roache Sees a City Enjoying Diversity in '97". p. 28. Retrieved December 18, 2018. 

Further reading

External links

Police appointments
Preceded by
Joseph M. Jordan
Commissioner of the Boston Police Department
Succeeded by
William J. Bratton
Government offices
Preceded by
John A. Nucci
At-large member of the Boston City Council
Succeeded by
Felix D. Arroyo
Preceded by
Paul R. Tierney
Suffolk County Register of Deeds
Succeeded by
Stephen J. Murphy

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).