By John Lynds
In light of the recent uptick in violent crime in East Boston, Boston Police Commissioner William Evans has agreed to add five more police officers to the neighborhood out of the next Boston Police Academy graduating class.
Evans made this pledge after meeting with City Councilor Sal LaMattina and Rep. Adrian Madaro for breakfast last week at Angela’s Cafe.
“It was a pleasure to meet with City Councilor LaMattina and Rep. Madaro to discuss public safety issues in East Boston,” said Evans. “East Boston has experienced some high profile incidents lately and I wanted to assure them that the Boston Police are doing everything possible to keep the residents safe. I recently assigned additional officer to the neighborhood and have asked Captain (Kelly) McCormick to step up patrols and walking beats in the neighborhoods as well as address the noise complaints in Orient Heights. I appreciate Sal and Adrian taking the time to sit with me and keep me informed. We look forward to continued success in reducing crime across the city.”
LaMattina and Madaro called the meeting with evidence following the murder of 18-year-old Blanca Lainez on Princeton Street on June 15. Lainez became the fifth teen killed in Eastie since September. (An arrest has been in that case. See page one).
However, there have been a slew of assaults, shootings and other incidents of gang violence throughout the year.
During the meeting Evans discussed the issues of gang and youth violence, providing better outreach to youth and the community, getting more police walking the beat in Eastie hot spots like Maverick Landing were some of the violence has occurred.
“Shortly after the meeting the Commissioner let us know that he put five additional officers in East Boston,” said Madaro. “This will include a couple of new recruits from the latest Police Academy class as well as a few other veteran officers.”
LaMattina thanked Evans for taking the time to listen to the elected officials concerns and being willing to address those concerns.
“I commend Commissioner Evans on the addition of new officers to our community,” said LaMattina. “We are dealing with a gang problem here that spills over from Chelsea and other North Shore communities so the situation here is unique. With more visibility and more patrols we can begin to address some of the violence that has occurred.”
LaMattina added that District 7 has been doing a great job with its community policing and really trying to reach out to youth and some of the known players to curb the violence before it gets out of hand.
“The efforts the police are doing now coupled with additional officers will really help the situation,” said LaMattina.
However, both LaMattina and Madaro added that Eastie although there have been some high profile incidents since September overall Part One crime in Eastie is down 15 percent when comparing January to July 2016 with January to July 2015.
“Only South Boston, Hyde Park and Jamaica Plain have seen a greater decrease in crime this year,” said Madaro.