DARTMOUTH, Mass. — The subject of crime never came up during Thursday’s South Coast gubernatorial forum at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, but afterward, the four candidates for governor discussed how they would attack the violent crime that terrorized Boston’s Mattapan neighborhood this week.
Jill Stein: Stop Cutting Programs For Youth
Green-Rainbow candidate Jill Stein placed the blame for the increase in crime on Gov. Deval Patrick’s policies.
“The governor has been cutting those programs that keep our young people off the streets and productively employed, and gang violence prevention, and all that. We’ve seen $18 million cut in those critical services,” Stein said.
Gov. Deval Patrick: Must Take A Multi-Solution Approach
For Patrick, the issue is a complex one that requires many different solutions.
“We always make the mistake of acting as if the issue around crime — and violent crime in particular — lends itself to a single solution,” Patrick said.
“I think it’s many things. I think it’s community policing. I think it is after-school programs. I think it is successful education. I think it is adults in communities acting like adults and taking responsibility for kids — their own and others. It’s the spirit of the community and the hopefulness of the community and the economy is not helping any of that right now.”
Tim Cahill: Put More Police On The Street
State Treasurer Tim Cahill sees violent crime as essentially a law-enforcement problem.
“We reallocate our resources from defense attorneys to district attorneys. That’s one way, so that when the police apprehend a criminal, they can actually put them away and keep them away,” Cahill said.
“That’s upside down in this administration right now. There’s too much money being spent to defend the criminals, not enough to prosecute them, and then reallocate some of the governor’s economic growth money into putting more police on the street.”
Charles Baker: Stop Cutting Public Safety Budget
Republican candidate Charles Baker, too, sees it as a law-and-order question. On Thursday morning, Baker addressed women supporters in Boston’s South End and was asked about the murders in Mattapan.
“By cutting local aid, and not by restructuring state government, we’ve taken local government spending. They’ve lost hundreds of millions of dollars, and a lot of that’s translated into hits to education and hits to public safety,” Baker said.
“The DA’s have lost somewhere between 13 and 15 percent of their budget over the past few years.”
Four candidates for governor, each with their own approach to combating violent crime.