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Menino Plan Aims To Curb Boston Violence This Summer

BOSTON — Boston Mayor Thomas Menino on Wednesday will unveil a multifaceted strategy to curb city violence this summer. The plan includes developing relationships with gang members and employing and engaging young people.

“I’m trying to give these young people the opportunity to have positive experiences, develop new relationships, [and obtain] economic independence,” Menino said in an interview with WBUR Morning Edition host Bob Oakes.

As the Boston Globe reports:

Summertime violence is an age-old problem for urban areas after school ends. Thousands of young people face unstructured days and idle time that can often lead to trouble.

With his proposal, the mayor is stressing visibility in neighborhoods and working with individuals coming out of incarceration. “Reentry is very important,” Menino said.

Of note, the strategy includes:

- Using $227,000 in federal money to hire five “violence interrupters” to work with gang members in Mattapan;

– Sending two outreach workers to Dorchester’s Bowdoin-Geneva corridor to get youths involved in positive activities;

– Securing up to 10,000 summer jobs for young people;

– Installing 34 more surveillance cameras in areas with elevated crime rates.

“These five individuals are like street workers,” Menino said of the “violence interrupters.” “We identify who the problem [people] are out there; go work with them and see if we can get them into programs and maybe jobs.”

The mayor said his office has stepped up its efforts to find employers willing to hire youths.

“The kids you put to work in the summer, [it'll] be a positive influence on them and on the City of Boston,” he said. “That’s why we’ve been very aggressive on this matter.”

The Globe reports the initiative will also deploy Boston Police’s daytime drug unit in various neighborhoods, and target “problem properties” with a history of crime.

The mayor will formally unveil his plan in a City Hall news conference Wednesday.

Update at 12:10 p.m.: Menino has unveiled his “S.P.R.I.N.G.” plan, and his office published a release with more of the strategy’s details.

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