Keeping Boston Safe: Drug Control Unit Officers Locate and Arrest Suspect with Firearm during Ongoing Investigation

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At about 3:05 PM on Wednesday, September 20, 2017, members of the District A-1 (Downtown) Neighborhood Drug Control Unit made an on-site arrest for firearm and drug related charges in the area of Summer Street and Washington Street.

As a result of an active and ongoing investigation, officers were able to locate and arrest 42-year-old Joshua Eloi of Boston. During their encounter with Eloi, officers recovered one loaded Rossi Interarms .357 magnum revolver reported stolen out of Birmingham, AL, as well as a large amount of oxycodone, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and US currency from his person. Officers arrested Eloi and charged him with Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Unlawful Possession of Ammunition, Unlawfully Carrying a Loaded Firearm, Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Felony, Receiving Stolen Property (Firearm), Armed Career Criminal Level I, Trafficking Class B Drugs (Cocaine-over 100 grams), Trafficking Class A Drugs (Heroin-over 40 grams), Possession with Intent to Distribute Class B Drugs (Oxycodone), Possession with Intent to Distribute Class D Drugs (Marijuana) Park Zone Violation (2nd & Subsequent Offense), and Resisting Arrest.
 

Death Investigation in the Area of 50 Bradshaw Street, Dorchester

 

At about 8:05 AM on Thursday, September 21, 2017, officers from District B-2 (Roxbury) responded to a radio call for a person stabbed in the area of 50 Bradshaw Street, Dorchester.

Upon arrival, officers located a male victim in his 40's suffering from apparent stab wounds. The victim was transported to Tufts Medical Center where he was later pronounced deceased. Officers at the scene were informed that the suspect, also a male in his 40's, had transported himself to Boston Medical Center with apparent stab wounds.

The Boston Police Department is actively reviewing the facts and circumstances surrounding this incident. Anyone with information relative to the investigation is strongly urged to contact Boston Police Homicide Detectives at (617) 343-4470.

Community members wishing to assist this investigation anonymously can do so by calling the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1 (800) 494-TIPS or by texting the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463). The Boston Police Department will stringently guard and protect the identities of all those who wish to help this investigation in an anonymous manner.

Boston 24 and Public Journal for Thursday, September 21, 2017

Data includes 24 HR PERIOD beginning Wednesday @ 10AM through Thursday @ 10AM

Homicides: 0
Nonfatal Shootings: 0
Nonfatal Stabbings: 0

Street Robberies: 4
Commercial Robberies: 0
Bank Robberies: 0
Other Robberies: 0

Vehicle Thefts: 3
Vehicle Recoveries: 0
Vehicle Breaks: 3

Residential Break-ins: 3
Commercial Break-ins: 1

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Note: The information above is preliminary information, and should not be considered official crime statistics. The information is based on an initial review of incident reports and may not be a comprehensive listing of events. It is not a statistical analysis, but rather an initial tally of significant events.

Coffee with a Cop Stops by Brassica Kitchen and Café in Jamaica Plain

This morning, Wednesday September 20, 2017, several officers from District E-13 (Jamaica Plain) and members of the BPD’s Neighborhood Watch Unit joined community members for Coffee with a Cop at Brassica Kitchen and Café on Washington Street in Jamaica Plain (Forest Hills). Those who attended welcomed the opportunity to meet and greet the officers patrolling their neighborhood in a relaxed and informal setting. We would like to thank everyone who attended and took the time to stop in to say hello, especially Regina Robinson from the Boston School Committee and councilor-at-large Annissa Essaibi George. If you are interested in learning more about attending or starting a Neighborhood Watch Group or a future ‘Coffee with a Cop’ event, please call (617) 343-4345.

 

Boston 24 and Public Journal for Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Data includes 24 HR PERIOD beginning Tuesday @ 10AM through Wednesday @ 10AM

Homicides: 0
Nonfatal Shootings: 0
Nonfatal Stabbings: 1

Street Robberies: 3
Commercial Robberies: 1
Bank Robberies: 0
Other Robberies: 1

Vehicle Thefts: 1
Vehicle Recoveries: 1
Vehicle Breaks: 6

Residential Break-ins: 8
Commercial Break-ins: 3

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Note: The information above is preliminary information, and should not be considered official crime statistics. The information is based on an initial review of incident reports and may not be a comprehensive listing of events. It is not a statistical analysis, but rather an initial tally of significant events.

Boston 24 and Public Journal for Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Data includes 24 HR PERIOD beginning Monday @ 10AM through Tuesday @ 10AM

Homicides: 0
Nonfatal Shootings: 1
Nonfatal Stabbings: 0

Street Robberies: 0
Commercial Robberies: 0
Bank Robberies: 1
Other Robberies: 0

Vehicle Thefts: 5
Vehicle Recoveries: 1
Vehicle Breaks: 3

Residential Break-ins: 4
Commercial Break-ins: 3

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Note: The information above is preliminary information, and should not be considered official crime statistics. The information is based on an initial review of incident reports and may not be a comprehensive listing of events. It is not a statistical analysis, but rather an initial tally of significant events.

Keeping Boston Safe: Search Warrant Enables BPD Officers to Arrest One and Confiscate Two Guns in Dorchester

Keeping Boston Safe: Search Warrant Enables BPD Officers to Arrest One and Confiscate Two Guns in Dorchester: At about 4:20AM, on Monday, September, 18, 2017, members of the Youth Violence Strike Force and BPD SWAT executed a search warrant at 12 Harlow St in Dorchester. Once inside the location, officers located and recovered 2 firearms (see photo), several rounds of ammunition, a $1,000 in US Currency, a plastic bag containing a Class D Drug (marijuana) and several items commonly associated with the illegal drug trade including a digital scale and several plastic baggies. Additionally, officers arrested Alidio Barbosa, 20, of Boston and charged him with the Unlawful Possession of a Firearm (2 counts), Unlawful Possession of Firearm with a Defaced Serial Number, Unlawful Possession of a High Capacity Feeding Device, Unlawful Possession of Ammunition and Possession of Class D Drug with Intent to Distribute within 100 Feet of a Park.

Weekend Update: Boston 72 and Public Journal for Monday, September 18, 2017

Data includes 72 HR PERIOD beginning Friday @ 10AM through Monday @ 10AM

Homicides: 0
Nonfatal Shootings: 2
Nonfatal Stabbings: 7

Street Robberies: 10
Commercial Robberies: 0
Bank Robberies: 1
Other Robberies: 1

Vehicle Thefts: 10
Vehicle Recoveries: 6
Vehicle Breaks: 31

Residential Break-ins: 13
Commercial Break-ins: 7

Click Here for Public Journal

Note: The information above is preliminary information, and should not be considered official crime statistics. The information is based on an initial review of incident reports and may not be a comprehensive listing of events. It is not a statistical analysis, but rather an initial tally of significant events.

Investigation Update: Suspect Charged in 2013 Double Homicide

Today, Monday September 18, 2017, 25-year-old Tabari Muhammad of Roxbury will be arraigned in Suffolk Superior Court following his indictment for the May 3, 2013 double homicide that occurred at 416 Warren Street, Roxbury.

At about 6:54 PM on May 3, 2013, officers from District B-2 (Roxbury) were notified of two people shot in the area of 416 Warren Street, (Walgreens parking lot). Officers located two male victims suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. Victims Tremayne Jackson, 22 of Roxbury and Mibsam Wiggins, 23 of Roxbury were both pronounced deceased at the scene.

Over the course of the next several years, Homicide Investigators working closely with the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office were able to identify and charge Muhammad with the double murder.  Muhammad was indicted August 8, 2017.

Said Commissioner Evans; “Throughout this process my detectives have been working tirelessly gathering evidence and following up on every lead. This determination and commitment is what led to these charges being brought.  I send my heartfelt sympathies all the families impacted by this terrible crime and hope that this news brings some level of peace to both victims’ families.” 

“Some homicides can be solved in days, and others can take years,” Conley said. “But every single one of them is a priority for Boston police and Suffolk prosecutors.  We will follow every lead and use every tool available to identify, apprehend, and prosecute the perpetrator.”

The Boston Police Department and the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office continue to investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding this incident. Anyone with information relative to the investigation is strongly urged to contact Boston Police Homicide Detectives at (617) 343-4470.

Community members wishing to assist this investigation anonymously can do so by calling the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1 (800) 494-TIPS or by texting the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463). The Boston Police Department will stringently guard and protect the identities of all those who wish to help this investigation in an anonymous manner. 

Cops For Kids With Cancer and Boston Police Give Escort, Gifts, and Check to Family of 8-year-old Edarwin Santana

On Wednesday, September 13, 2017, officers from District D-4 (South End) were happy to make 8-year-old Edarwin Santana's day a little brighter with a police escort and tour of the district police station where Edarwin, a cancer patient and avid fan of police officers, and his family were presented with a generous donation from Cops for Kids with Cancer. A big thank you to D-4 Captain Lanchester, the officers who participated, and to CFKWC for putting a smile on a Edarwin's face! 

Recent Promotions: Superintendent Joseph Harris

Today, Friday, September 15, 2017, Boston Police Commissioner William Evans appointed Deputy Superintendent Joe Harris to the position of Superintendent in a ceremony during which Harris was pinned by his wife. Superintendent Harris, who will take the Night Commander position, is highly respected by both his colleagues on the Command Staff, as well as by the rank and file under his supervision. Congratulations, Superintendent Harris on this well-deserved promotion!

One Less Gun: Officers Recover Two Firearms in Two Separate Incidents

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INCIDENT #1: At about 7:42 PM on Thursday, September 14, 2017, members of the Youth Violence Strike Force on-sited an arrest in the area of Geneva Avenue and Normandy Street in District B-2 (Roxbury). While on patrol in the area, officers observed a vehicle operating with a broken tail light. Officers conducted a stop of the vehicle at the above address and were informed by the operator that he was not licensed to drive. Officers requested the operator exit the vehicle, and once he had done so, officers observed the handle of a firearm in plain view protruding from a pocket located in front of the driver’s seat. Officers recovered a loaded Smith & Wesson .380 Bodyguard with obliterated serial number from the vehicle. Officers arrested the operator, identified as 27-year-old Antwoun J. Ellis of Dorchester, and charged him with Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Unlawful Possession of Ammunition, Unlawfully Carrying a Loaded Firearm, Possession of a Firearm with Obliterated Serial Number, Armed Career Criminal Level I, Operating a Motor Vehicle after License Suspension, and cited for the Defective Brake Light.

INCIDENT #2: At about 8:48 PM on Thursday, September 14, 2017, officers from District C-11 (Dorchester) responded to a call for a person with a gun in the area of the KFC at 695 Columbia Road. Officers were provided with a description of a male who had tried to grab a woman’s purse and made threats to kill her. Officers were informed that the victim thought she observed a firearm handle in his waistband. Officers observed a male matching the suspect’s description outside the KFC. A pat frisk of the suspect revealed a loaded Iver Johnson .32 caliber revolver with obliterated serial number in a mesh belt in his waistband. Officers arrested 67-year-old Clinton Satterfield of Dorchester and charged him with Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Unlawful Possession of Ammunition, Unlawfully Carrying a Loaded Firearm, and Possession of a Firearm with Obliterated Serial Number.

Boston 24 and Public Journal for Friday, September 15, 2017

Data includes 24 HR PERIOD beginning Thursday @ 10AM through Friday @ 10AM

Homicides: 0
Nonfatal Shootings: 3
Nonfatal Stabbings: 5

Street Robberies: 2
Commercial Robberies: 0
Bank Robberies: 1
Other Robberies: 1

Vehicle Thefts: 0
Vehicle Recoveries: 1
Vehicle Breaks: 8

Residential Break-ins: 5
Commercial Break-ins: 0

Click Here for Public Journal

Note: The information above is preliminary information, and should not be considered official crime statistics. The information is based on an initial review of incident reports and may not be a comprehensive listing of events. It is not a statistical analysis, but rather an initial tally of significant events.

One Less Gun: Officers Arrest Two Suspects, Recover Firearm after Armed Robbery and Shooting in Mattapan

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At about 12:00 AM on Friday, September 15, 2017, officers from District B-3 (Mattapan) responded to a radio call for shots fired in the area of Blue Hill Ave and Almont Street. Upon arrival, officers located a female victim suffering from a non-life-threatening gunshot wound. The officers were informed that she had been robbed and shot by two males who fled on foot toward Mattapan Square. The victim was transported to Boston Medical Center by EMS.

Meanwhile, officers on scene were informed that the same suspects had been witnessed committing the shooting and an earlier robbery in the area of Blue Hill Ave and Woolson Street a short time before the shooting. Officers received a detailed description and direction of flight. Officers canvassed the area and located two males fitting that description in the area of River Street and Edgewater Drive. Upon approaching the suspects, one male fled while the other attempted to hide in a parked vehicle. Officers removed 21-year-old Wilkenson Charles of Hyde Park from the parked vehicle and recovered an unloaded Hi-Point C9 9mm pistol in his possession. Officers stopped 30-year-old Phillipe Walnes of Malden after a brief foot pursuit and violent struggle during which Walnes kicked the officers. When officers were able to apprehend Walnes, they discovered several items identified as stolen property in his possession. Both Charles and Walnes were identified as the suspects involved in the shooting and robbery. Officers arrested both suspects and charged them with Armed Assault with Intent to Murder, Discharging a Firearm within 500 ft. of a Dwelling, Armed Robbery, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Unlawful Possession of Ammunition, Assault and Battery by Means of a Dangerous Weapon, and Unlawfully Carrying a Loaded Firearm. Walnes was additionally charged with Assault and Battery by Means of a Dangerous Weapon on a Police Officer (Shod Foot).

UPDATE: Suspect Charged in Death Investigation in the Area of 11 Santuit Street, Dorchester

 

At about 10:22 PM on Sunday, September 10, 2017, officers from District C-11 (Dorchester) responded to a radio call for shots fired in the area of 11 Santuit Street.

Upon arrival, officers observed an adult female suffering from apparent gunshot wounds inside the residence. The female was pronounced deceased at the scene. The female victim has since been identified as 24-year-old Michaela Gingras of Manchester, NH. 

Today, Friday September 15, 2017,  State Police Colonel Richard D. McKeon, Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans, and Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley announced that warrants charging a Dorchester man with the homicides of Scott M. Stevens, Jr., and Michaela Gingras have been lodged at the Suffolk County Jail, where he is currently held without bail in unrelated cases.

The warrants, obtained late last night, charge LANCE HOLLOMAN (D.O.B. 1/12/87) with murder, armed assault with intent to murder, and other offenses for allegedly shooting Stevens, 32, and a 54-year-old relative as they rode their motorcycles southbound on Route 93 near the Neponset Avenue exit at about 5:00 Sunday evening. Stevens, a resident of East Taunton, died of his injuries at Boston Medical Center on Wednesday; his relative is expected to survive.

The warrants also charge Holloman with murder for Gingras’ fatal shooting. The 24-year-old resident of Manchester, New Hampshire, was found with fatal gunshot injuries several hours later inside a residence on Santuit Street in Dorchester. She was pronounced dead at the scene late Sunday night.

The charges reflect around-the clock investigation by and communication between the Boston Police Homicide Unit, which responded to Santuit Street, and the Suffolk County State Police Detective Unit, which has jurisdiction over death investigations on State roadways within the City of Boston. Commissioner Evans, Colonel McKeon, and District Attorney Conley stressed that the investigation into both incidents remains very active, and anyone with information on either one is urged to share it with Boston Police at 617-343-4470 or State Police at 617-727-8817.

Holloman was arrested by Franklin Police on three outstanding warrants following a motor vehicle collision early Monday morning. One of the warrants charged unlawful possession of a firearm for a May 31 incident in which he allegedly directed another person to throw a loaded handgun from a vehicle while fleeing a traffic stop; Holloman evaded police but a warrant issued for his arrest.

Holloman was arraigned Monday afternoon in Dorchester Municipal Court, where Judge James Coffey imposed $150,000 cash bail on the gun case, revoked Holloman’s bail for 60 days on an unrelated pending case charging assault and battery and animal cruelty, and imposed an additional $500 bail on an unrelated pending case charging operation of a motor vehicle with a suspended license. Holloman had earlier failed to appear in court on both these latter cases, triggering default warrants in both.

Because he is held on high bail in one case and his bail is revoked in another, Holloman will be brought into court for arraignment on the murder and attempted murder charges on a future date that has not yet been scheduled.

The Boston Police Department is actively reviewing the facts and circumstances surrounding this incident. Anyone with information relative to the investigation is strongly urged to contact Boston Police Homicide Detectives at (617) 343-4470.

Community members wishing to assist this investigation anonymously can do so by calling the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1 (800) 494-TIPS or by texting the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463). The Boston Police Department will stringently guard and protect the identities of all those who wish to help this investigation in an anonymous manner.

UPDATE: Victim Identified in Death Investigation in the Area of 11 Santuit Street, Dorchester

 

At about 10:22 PM on Sunday, September 10, 2017, officers from District C-11 (Dorchester) responded to a radio call for shots fired in the area of 11 Santuit Street.

Upon arrival, officers observed an adult female suffering from apparent gunshot wounds inside the residence. The female was pronounced deceased at the scene. The female victim has since been identified as 24-year-old Michaela Gingras of Manchester, NH. 

The Boston Police Department is actively reviewing the facts and circumstances surrounding this incident. Anyone with information relative to the investigation is strongly urged to contact Boston Police Homicide Detectives at (617) 343-4470.

Community members wishing to assist this investigation anonymously can do so by calling the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1 (800) 494-TIPS or by texting the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463). The Boston Police Department will stringently guard and protect the identities of all those who wish to help this investigation in an anonymous manner.

Commissioner Evans Honored to Appear Before the Subcommittee on Counterterrorism & Intelligence in Washington, D.C.

On Wednesday, September 13, 2017, Commissioner William Evans was invited to appear before the Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence in Washington, DC, to discuss lessons learned and best practices developed in the years after the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001. The focus of the hearing was to reinforce the importance of suspicious activity reporting and better understand and assess the role of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative (NSI). Specifically, Commissioner Evans was asked to talk about the BPD’s highly acclaimed relationship building expertise and its incontrovertible impact on our nation's counterterrorism efforts. Said Commissioner Evans: “If you want community members to say something after they’ve seen something, they have to trust the officers entrusted with keeping them safe. Without trust, there will be no sharing. And, there’s no question, we are a safer nation when the community is seeing suspicious activity and immediately sharing that information with our law enforcement agencies.”

Commissioner Evans' full remarks are listed below: 

On behalf of Mayor Martin Walsh and myself, I want to thank the Committee for asking me to participate in this hearing today. As I reflect on the incidents of September 11, 2001, the importance of partnerships with law enforcement agencies, public and private partners, and the public, is only reaffirmed.

In my 37 years with the Boston Police Department, I have seen policing strategies evolve significantly and can state with certainty that given recent world events police-community relations have never been more important than they are today. To that end, as the Police Commissioner for the City of Boston, I continue to focus on strengthening our relationship with the community through the expansion of community policing efforts, including proactive prevention and diversion for at-risk youth and their families, partnerships and collaborations with service providers, non-profits and community based programs, and expansive participation in neighborhood activities. Only through continued and persistent engagement with our community can police build trust, leading to increased cooperation from the community.

It is imperative that an officer’s role as a relationship-builder be ingrained from the start.  For a Boston police officer, community engagement and dialogue starts in the Boston Police Academy. While historically police training was focused on military style training, times have changed and so has the policing curriculum.  Knowing appropriate policing tactics is an important part of police training, but so is learning to positively and respectfully engage and interact with the community we serve.  While in the Academy, recruit officers interact with a community partners’ panel, perform a full week of community service projects, and complete community policing case studies.  As part of the community service project, recruit officers are sent out into the community to identify and address a current community concern. At the conclusion of the project, recruit officers report out to the Command Staff on the problem-solving process, including a description of the problem, their recommended solution, and their overall experience with the community.  I am a firm believer that officers are community problem solvers at all levels, and these types of interactions serve as the foundation for a well-rounded and effective police officer. 

In addition to the community interaction, the recruit curriculum now includes significant procedural justice and bias free policing training.  Ensuring that officers are aware of their inherent biases, and how those biases may affect their ability to do their job only further enhances their relationship with the community.  In addition to the recruit training, bias free policing has been stressed to all members of the Department.  In July 2015, the Department issued its Bias Free Policing policy and required all officers to complete an e-learning course as part of in-service training. The policy was issued to clarify the circumstances in which officers can consider personal characteristics, such as race and gender, when making enforcement decisions and to identify ongoing efforts to ensure that biased policing does not occur within the Department.   In addition to stressing community engagement and non-biased policing, Departmental training also focuses on de-escalation tactics.  I could give countless examples of times when a Boston Police officer would have been justified in using deadly force, but given the situation determined deadly force was not necessary.  Boston Police officers are instead trained to use de-escalation techniques and less lethal, or non lethal, force when confronted with the most difficult scenarios.  The Department’s focus on de-escalation has only served to increase the public’s trust in the Department, and has been a key component to building confidence with our community. 

After completing the Academy, Boston Police officers continue to engage the community once out on the street, which encourages the community to “See Something, Say Something.”  Members of the Department participate in neighborhood Peace Walks in the neighborhoods most impacted by violence.  In addition to police officers, these walks include members of the clergy and community partners, and provide an opportunity for citizens to personally interact with the officers assigned to their community. Similarly, each of the Department’s eleven (11) neighborhood stations run community outreach and youth activities through their community service offices including the Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway, the Senior Citizens Ball, sports leagues, arts programs, youth/police dialogues, community service projects, neighborhood block parties, junior police academy, neighborhood “flashlight” walks, “Coffee with a Cop,” safety briefings, neighborhood watch, and collaborations with local non-profit and faith based partners. During the summer months, the Department deploys “Operation Hoodsie Cup” into our neighborhoods. Through the use of an ice cream truck, officers deliver free ice cream to children and community residents, again fostering one on one interaction with officers and the community.

Additionally, the Department has many programs focused on youth engagement.  The Boston Police Teen Academy helps students connect with officers in their community, while also building character and learning life skills, all with a major focus on conflict resolution. Participants earn minimum wages for their program attendance and receive gift cards provided by local businesses to help with the purchase of back to school clothes and supplies. Through Operation Homefront, a collaboration with the School Police Unit, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Police, School Safety, Social Service Agencies and Faith Based Organizations, the Department furthers the idea that family is the first line of defense against gang activity and truancy. With information provided by our local schools regarding concerning behaviors that may affect school safety, officers and clergy members work together to conduct home visits for at risk youth. This collaboration provides a crucial link to parents in our neighborhoods and offers various resources for parents, students and teachers to utilize when preventing problems for students in the public school system. Officers also participate in P.A.L. to PALS, a monthly visit to local Boys and Girls Clubs in Boston. The visits include a dialogue on the officers’ assignment followed by a physical activity, such as officers playing basketball with the children. Similarly, the Department partners with the Boy Scouts of America to provide young men and women who have an interest in the field of law enforcement with career orientation experiences, leadership opportunities and community service activities. The Boston Police Academy also hosts an annual “Big for a Day” in partnership with the Big Sister’s Association. The program matches “little sisters” between the ages of 7 and 15 with women in the Department. Over the course of the day, Department personnel and the “little sisters” participate in a variety of police related activities. Earlier this year the Department unveiled the “Bigs in Blue” program, which connects Boston youth with current police officers to build strong, trusting, lasting relationships between law enforcement, the City’s youth and their families. Also, in 2014, Mayor Walsh established Operation Exit - a program which places at-risk residents, including those with a criminal background, into a trade apprenticeship program. Through career readiness and occupational skills training, the program provides hands-on learning experiences with peer-to-peer mentorship to prepare participants for successful careers. This program has proven to be enormously successful as the vast majority of those who have completed the program have left their criminal pasts behind, and are now thriving, productive members of our community.   The Department’s participation in these youth focused events, as well as others throughout the City, further helps to break down walls between youth and police, support our community policing efforts, and foster an ongoing dialogue with our officers.

In addition to the extensive interactive community engagement, in August 2015, I created the Social Justice Task Force. The Task Force is comprised of Command Staff members and various community leaders, advocates, educators and members of the clergy, all of whom meet on a periodic basis to discuss current issues facing the Department and the community.  The goal of the Task Force is to engage community leaders and receive feedback on various Department initiatives and plans, develop solutions to current concerns, and ensure the right information is getting out to the community.  The Task Force has provided feedback on recruitment efforts and the hiring and promotion process, re-instituting the Cadet program, and the Body Worn Camera Pilot Program, to name just a few topics. Members of the Task Force have assisted with summer violence prevention efforts, encouraged the community to participate in Peace Walks, and participated in meetings in our neighborhoods to discuss the public’s concerns and further improve our relationships with the community.  Outside of the periodic meetings, I personally call on these trusted partners to seek guidance and feedback on emerging issues and concerns.

The Department’s relationship with the community is further strengthened by our strong social media presence.  In the days following the Boston Marathon Bombing in 2013, the Department used social media to inform the public without inciting fear, to instruct the residents on what to do, and to instill a feeling of safety within the community. This method of communication proved invaluable during such a difficult time in Boston.  Since 2014 the Department has seen a steady increase in the number of social media followers, and currently has 496,000 Twitter followers, 190,000 Facebook followers (and has received 200,000 “likes”), 21,500 Instagram followers and receives an average of 2.46 million page views per year on the Department’s website, BPDNews.com. Social media has allowed me to increase transparency and information sharing by posting the results of internal affairs investigations, seeking the identity of persons of interest and suspects in criminal activity, and seeking the community’s assistance in locating missing persons.

While calling 9-1-1 remains the most commonly used means to share information with the Department, our constant physical presence in the community, as well as our on-line presence, affords members of the public with additional avenues to share information with police officers. To that end, the Department also operates an anonymous tip line that allows people to confidentially send information, either by phone or text, directly to the Department if they observe a crime or other suspicious activity.

Not only does the Department coordinate with the community to solve crime, but coordination with our law enforcement and private partners is an integral part of our success.  The Department participates in Urban Shield Boston - a multi-agency training exercise funded by the Department of Homeland Security designed to enhance the skills and abilities of our region’s first responders, as well as those responsible for coordinating and managing large scale incidents, and other members of the community.  This exercise identifies and stretches regional resources to their limits and strengthens incident command systems, while expanding regional collaboration and building relationships. Similarly, in June 2016, the Department, in collaboration with the Boston Red Sox, the Department of Homeland Security, and the United States Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, conducted a multijurisdictional counterterrorism exercise at Fenway Park. The objective of the training exercise was to prepare law enforcement officials, first responders, and Fenway Park personnel in emergency procedures and protocols in the event of a mass emergency. This exercise was the first of its kind across the nation and included various threats (i.e., suicide vests, drones, and active shooters), as well as the testing of various security technologies (i.e., vapor dogs, anti-drone technology, and remote precision robotics).

All Boston Police officers also receive training on suspicious activity and characteristics reporting, led by members of the Boston Regional Intelligence Center (BRIC), the 2013 Fusion Center of the Year recipient. During this training, officers are given examples of suspicious activities, including weapons collection, surveillance, recruiting and testing or probing of security, and are reminded of behaviors to look for during major public events. Officers have multiple options for reporting suspicious activity, including in a police report or by contacting the BRIC directly. Analysts assigned to the BRIC can provide additional information when such a report is received, through open source research and information sharing with other law enforcement agencies. Additionally, Homeland Security Analysts assigned to the BRIC are able to track the event as a Suspicious Activity Report, which enables them to identify trends and patterns, as well as share information with other law enforcement agencies.

In addition to training with our partners, the Department has developed a comprehensive information sharing partnership with our public and private sector stakeholders called BRIC Shield, based in part on the NYPD Shield program. There are more than 1,000 stakeholders from the private sector and non-governmental organizations across the Metro Boston Region registered to receive and share information through BRIC Shield for public safety and homeland security purposes. The information shared includes the latest crime bulletins, pattern and trend analysis of criminal activity in the region, international, national and regional analysis of homeland security incidents and threats as they relate to the region, real time alerts and situational awareness updates. The BRIC also houses the Department’s Real Time Crime Center, which allows analysts to monitor events in real time and provide officers with timely information, often as the incident is unfolding.

To further ensure the continuous flow of information, the Department has officers assigned to the National Network of Fusion Centers, the Joint Terrorism Task Force, the International Association of Chiefs of Police Committee on Terrorism, the Major City Chiefs Intelligence Commanders Group, and the National Operations Center. The Department’s representation within these organizations and committees further supports the continuous flow of information among our law enforcement partners. The Department also works with its local, national and international partners to provide training and ensure the safety of those in these communities. For example, the Department partners with local hospitals in the “Run, Hide, Fight” training exercise to prepare employees in the event of an active shooter situation, and has provided active shooter training to countless schools, businesses, and agencies.

Information sharing with public and private partners has served as an invaluable tool in combating crime in our City. For example, in August 2015 the BRIC received an email from security personnel at a local convention center regarding a possible threat made on social media to the Pokémon World Championship.  The information was evaluated by the BRIC and analysts were able to identify the suspects and send out a request for information to Boston area hotels. Upon the suspects’ arrival at the convention, the two individuals were stopped at the door by law enforcement and a search warrant was later executed on their vehicle.  The men were taken into custody after officers found assault weapons and ammunition in the trunk of their car. Both men ultimately plead guilty and were sentenced to two years in prison.

Similarly, through collaboration with multiple agencies across the country to understand the dynamics of MS-13, a BRIC analyst identified a possible connection between a MS-13 member wanted in a series of assaults and an individual wanted for questioning in a New Jersey homicide investigation. Working with its network of partners across the United States to share criminal intelligence, along with an investigation by Boston Police Youth Violence Strike Force officers, the Department confirmed that these suspects were in fact the same person and coordinated with representatives from the New Jersey Prosecutor’s Office to conduct a series of interviews with the suspect in Boston. This information and investigation ultimately resulted in the arrest of the suspect following his admitted involvement in the New Jersey homicide.

The success of the Department is directly attributable to increased trust with the community through relationship building, information sharing, and increased awareness and training.  The ongoing dialogue with our community and law enforcement partners, coupled with the targeted and strategic deployment of resources and an increase in training, has led to a steady decrease in Part 1 Crime over the last ten years, with a 38% decrease from 2007 to 2016. Similarly, arrests have seen a 51% decrease during the same time period.  This reduction clearly demonstrates that we are not arresting our way out of a problem, but instead focusing our efforts where they need to be - community engagement and strategic deployment.  Our positive relationship with the community has also helped the Department handle our many large-scale events of the recent past.  From Occupy Boston to our Boston sports teams’ victory parades to the Free Speech Rally a few weeks back – without the community’s support and assistance we would not have been able to keep each of these events controlled and violence free.  Police need the trust and faith of the community they serve to effectively prevent, respond to and solve crimes. That trust is built through the tireless efforts of each officer, from the recruit officer to the Police Commissioner, to engage people in the community: one conversation at a time.

Coffee With a Cop Visits El Recreo Estate Coffee in West Roxbury

On Wednesday, September 13, 2017, Coffee with a Cop stopped by El Recreo Estate Coffee on Centre Street in West Roxbury. Superintendent in Chief William Gross joined District E-5 Captain Steven McLaughlin along with officers from the neighborhood to speak with families from the community over a cup of coffee. Thank you to the welcoming staff and to everyone who came out to say hello today. As always, a special thanks to William Stoddard, Executive Director of the Boston Police Activities League (PAL), for sponsoring these events. If you are interested in learning about starting a Neighborhood Watch Group or interested in attending a future Coffee with a Cop event, please call (617) 343-4345.