With four gang-related shootings in East Boston since January 1, residents are demanding that Mayor Martin Walsh makes good on his promise to add more police to the neighborhood.
In September at East Boston High School, following the homicides of 15 year old Wilson Martinez and Irvin Depazm, Walsh pledged to put more cops on the streets of Eastie at a meeting hosted by the Mayor and the city’s top law enforcement officers at East Boston High School.
“The last two classes that came out of the academy, a majority went to high crime areas in the city,” Walsh said in September. “Out of the 65 graduates that will come out of the academy in December we guarantee East Boston will get a number of those new recruits.”
However, police confirmed at a community meeting Monday night that no new recruits have been added to District 7. Walsh’s community liaison, Claudia Correa said that the new recruits were training in other areas at the moment and was not sure when the new recruits would arrive in Eastie.
This news frustrated residents especially after a third teen was shot and killed on Falcon Street on January 10. Christofer Perez-De la Cruz became the third teenager to be murdered in Eastie since September after he was shot and killed in what police describe as a gang related homicide.
A little over a week later on January 19, two people, one an innocent bystander, were shot at Maverick MBTA station in the middle of the afternoon. Police are searching for Rogelio Alvarado, 21, of East Boston in connection with that crime.
Then on Monday two shootings took place at Maverick Landing Housing Development within a 20 hour span.
“We are deeply concerned by the recent uptick in violent crime in East Boston,” said Rep. Adrian Madaro and City Councilor Sal LaMattina in a joint statement. “While police are actively investigating these crimes and following up on solid leads We are working closely with public safety officials to address these issues. We are planning on hosting a community-wide meeting on public safety and crime issues so residents can have a dialogue with police and get the answers they are looking for.”
At Monday’s community meeting Community Officers Sergeant Jimmy Martin and Danny Simons said Captain Kelley McCormick has brought in specialized police like Boston’s gang unit as well as bicycle officers to begin patrols in the area.
The Captain has also directed officers who are not attached to other calls or patrols to begin driving around Eastie with their blue lights on to increase police visibility in areas like Maverick and Eagle Hill.