William Gross, a 33-year veteran of the Boston Police Department has made history as the first black man to be chosen to lead the Boston Police department.

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Gross was chosen by Mayor Marty Walsh to run the 3,000-person Boston Police Department.

Walsh called Gross a “proven leader who is trusted and respected in the community.”

“Chief Gross is the right person to take on this command,” Walsh said during a Monday press conference reports CBS. Walsh noted the historic appointment “symbolizes progress.”

Gross humbly thanked his supporters.

“This is my sincere thanks to the community for helping to raise me, guide me and mentor me,” Gross said. “I’m just so overwhelmed with emotion, with pride. I’m just grateful.”

Gross rose up through the ranks of the Boston police department first serving as a a patrol officer in Dorchester to his current position.

“I am a true street cop. I started in Dorchester in 1985. Before that I was a cadet in 1983,” he said. “(I had) many calls from my mother worried because of the atmosphere at the time between the communities and BPD.”

Gross understands the gravity of his historic appointment.

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“If you want change, be the change. That’s why I became a police officer,” he said.“It shows that any kid in Boston – we were poor and we made it – will have the opportunity to be the mayor, the commissioner, or chief,” Gross said.

In his new role, Gross wants to hone his focus on reducing violence in the city.

 “One homicide is too much. One senseless act of violence is too much,” Gross said.

Gross will assume the role next month.