Menino, Boston Police Address Spike In Violence

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Police departments say summer months are the most violent in our nation's cities. Boston is no exception.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino convened an emergency meeting with police Tuesday after a violent July Fourth holiday weekend. Thirteen people were shot, four of them fatally.

The violence has spiked in Boston, despite a show of force by police in areas of the city considered hot spots for violent crime.

Menino said he was frustrated by the violence across the city over the holiday weekend, but still, he started out the day with an aggressively upbeat message, kicking off the morning with what has become an annual corporate summer jobs effort — the Martin Luther King Scholars. This year nearly 700 Boston teenagers are in the program, a public-private partnership, now in its fourth year.

The violence has spiked in Boston, despite a show of force by police in areas of the city considered hot spots for violent crime.

The mayor told the teens the program will not only help them earn an income over the summer, but will provide them with skills training and help put them on the right path for life.

"It's so easy to make the wrong turn," he said. "I'm here to say to all of you, 'Make the right choices this summer. If you make the right choices you have a great future. If you make the wrong choices someone else makes the choice for you.' "

In the afternoon, the mayor and Police Commissioner Edward Davis traveled to Roxbury as they continued to highlight the crackdown on violence in the city, which traditionally tracks upward during the summer months. They showed up at a house on Blue Hill Avenue that has been declared the first "problem property" targeted by a special city task force.

"Over the course of the year the Police Department has had to come to this address or deal with problems at the address 105 times," Davis said.

The commissioner said two people were arrested Tuesday after the Police Department's narcotics unit made buys of crack cocaine over the past few days.

The city's action is welcomed by neighborhood residents like Robert Lynch, who said the house has been a nuisance.

"It's just been a lot of activity there, there's people always coming and going, always hanging on the street, and it's been a lot of different things happening in the neighborhood — trespassing, breaking into people's cars and things, it's just been ridiculous," Lynch said.

The property owner will be required to meet with police to outline his or her plan for addressing the problems in the building and assuring the safety of other tenants.

This program aired on July 6, 2011.

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Delores Handy Reporter
Delores Handy was formerly a host and reporter at WBUR.



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