Boston’s 2014 Crime Fighter of the Year is not a top cop, district attorney, or street worker. She’s an exuberant 80-year-old woman who works every day to unite her Mattapan neighborhood against violence and unrest.
Annie Kinkead was presented the award in front of about 200 community members and top city and law enforcement officials Monday night.
In one hand, Kinkead held her award on the stage behind the District B-3 police station, which serves Mattapan and Dorchester. In the other, she clasped the hand of Superintendent-in-Chief William G. Gross, holding it high above both their heads in celebration.
“I want to thank each and every one of you for standing by me, being with me, and working with me day in and day out for a better neighborhood that we call ‘Shangri-La,’ a good sitting-down place,” Kinkead told the cheering crowd.
The residents and officials had gathered Monday to celebrate National Night Out, one of many events held throughout Boston where city officials and community members met and talked about issues in the neighborhoods and celebrated their achievements.
“This is the 31st year of National Night Out, where we come together as a police department, a community, with the mayor, the sheriff, and the DA just to showcase what we can do together,” Gross said to the large crowd. “And that’s to stand together in solidarity against the bad guys.”
Officials, including Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Police Commissioner William B. Evans, and Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley, extended their thanks to the community and first responders.
Mattapan was one of five stops the group made Monday, with six more expected in different neighborhoods Tuesday.
Community improvement and cooperation has been a lifelong focus of Kinkead, who is president of the Colorado Street Citizens Group and has been working in Mattapan for about 50 years.
Together with her late husband, they organized the neighborhood, working hand-in-hand with police. Kinkead still holds regular meetings to encourage neighbors to look out for one another.