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  Saturday, April 19, 2014
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South Boston Crime Watch Progresses
By Rick Winterson

     The most recent Crime Watch meeting convened in the conference room at B.P.D. Station C-6 at 10 a.m. last Saturday, April 29.  Around 20 concerned residents and officials attended.  Rep. Brian Wallace opened the proceedings by stating that the Crime Watch will be good for the community, good for everyone.  He listed the tasks completed so far, and reviewed where the Crime Watch must go before it’s fully up and running.  Wallace then introduced Ed Flynn, who has recently assumed the role of Crime Watch Coordinator.

     Flynn wants to make drug abuse a focus – zero tolerance.  He stated that users are often sellers or thieves, or both.  An effective Crime Watch will require total community cooperation, according to Flynn – police, clergy, educators, the courts, health professionals, and of course, South Boston’s residents.  Part of Flynn’s philosophy in approaching the Crime Watch is that “We are our brothers’ keepers”.

     Capt. Russell then went over some recent information.  Breakings and enterings (B&Es) are down, but robberies have increased.  He stressed the need for communication and information, and expressed his hope that the Crime Watch lead to more calling and reporting by concerned residents.  He mentioned that more “eyes and ears” out in the community will help Station C-6 do its job.

     Russell also mentioned the “Diversion Program”, a partnership between the Gavin Foundation, the Juvenile and South Boston District Courts, and Area C-6 Boston Police.  In brief layperson’s terms, this partnership allows non-violent drug use offenders to be diverted into training and counseling sessions.  They become “clients”, and are not prosecuted if they stick with the program.

Joseph Porcelli, who was a key member of his own neighborhood’s Crime Watch, and local Streetworker Mark McGonagle, spoke of their experiences and offered whatever help is needed.  Their basic message was that Crime Watches work.

     The meeting was opened up to comments and questions by the residents in attendance.  References were made to the continued nuisance created by young people hanging out in public areas such as M Street Park.  Capt. Russell explained steps that can be taken to deal with this issue.  Fran Collins, President of the South Boston Residents Group, voiced his concern about other quality-of-life issues, including non-resident car problems.  Everyone who attended signed up to volunteer for the Crime Watch in some way – an encouraging sign.  Many further Crime Watch actions are planned.

     To review the basic contact information if you see unusual or suspicious activity:

     1.-  First and foremost, always call 9-1-1.  Be prepared to describe what you have seen.

     2.-  If you use a cell phone, call the number (617)343-4911.  The 9-1-1 number from a cell phone 

           connects you to the State Police.

     3.-  Follow up your 9-1-1 call with a call to Station C-6, (617)343-4730.  Insist on speaking with the

           Duty Officer in charge.

     4.-  For possible drug activity, call (617)343-4736.  Leave detailed information about time, date, place,

           people, and cars involved.

     5.-  For major, constant nuisances (loud parties, unleashed dogs, blocked driveways, etc.), after calling

           9-1-1, leave a message with the Community Service Office, (617)343-4747.

     6.-  The Crime Watch headquarters is located at 492 East Broadway, overlooking Perkins Square.  The

           number is (617)268-SAFE (7233).  



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