At last Tuesday evening’s annual National Night Out at LoPresti Park Mayor Martin Walsh joined the city’s law enforcement agencies’ top brass and met with residents to discuss issues in the neighborhood and to open a continued dialogue with the community.
At the event Walsh pointed out the decrease in crime both in East Boston and across the city before turning the microphone over to Boston Police Commissioner William Gross.
Gross, who began his career in Eastie in 1985, said every time he comes to the community whether for a peace walk, a ribbon-cutting or other events he feels like he’s back home.
Gross then thanked the community for their continued partnership with the Boston Police to keep crime down in the neighborhood.
“You heard the mayor talk about all the great stats and some things we need to work on,” said Gross. “We just want to educate you that when we mention the positive things that means you are a part of it. We couldn’t do it without the community’s help When we talk about community policing everyone counts everyone wants a great quality of life so we are working in partnership with you to make sure that that happens.”
Gross said Eastie is very strong, but no matter what neighborhood you are from you are a resident of Boston.
“You are part of the city and we vow to protect you,” he said.
Gross said while National Night Out is an opportunity to bridge the gap that sometimes exists between police and residents this gap is virtually non-existent in the community. Gross said through police walking the beat and interacting with residents daily, community policing efforts, the police’s Youth Activities League and weekly Peace Walks the community and the police are one.
“National Night Out is not one day–we are doing this together each and every day together,” he said. “So give yourselves a hand for always taking care of the community having our backs.”
Gross was followed by D.A. Rachel Rollins. Like Gross, Rollins career started in Eastie when she served as Massport’s Chief Legal Counsel. Rollins said through that job working with the community on Logan Airport impacts and building relationships with community leaders Eastie holds a special place in her heart.
Before arriving at National Night Out, Rollins stopped by the East Boston Division of the Boston Municipal Court’s Drug Court session and was beyond impressed.
“Before coming here I had the pleasure of going into the East Boston Division of the Boston Municipal Court’s Drug Court session and I was really moved by the people doing the hard work, taking back their lives and accepting the help our systems are offering them,” said Rollins. “I want to thank Judge McDonald for that wonderful program and the work the courthouse staff is doing.”
The other thing Rollins wanted to discuss with the largely immigrant crowd at LoPresti Park last week was her fight against the Trump Administration’s immigration policies.
“I want East Boston to hear that in the six months since I’ve been District Attorney we have filed a lawsuit against ICE to demand that our brothers and sisters, documented or not, feel free to go into courthouses and get any services they need without fear that they will be arrested in the public places of our courthouses,” she said. “I want the people here to know that whatever your immigration status is know the elected officials standing here understand your worth, you are one of us and we are going to protect you.”