Mayor, police to host events to strengthen ties with residents
Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans and other officials will be out in neighborhoods across the city Monday and Tuesday to strengthen ties with residents in efforts to reduce local crime.
The stops are part of National Night Out, an annual campaign sponsored by nonprofit National Association of Town Watch. Similar events are taking place around the country.
Boston police in particular want to use the opportunity to highlight partnerships between police and neighborhood crime watch groups, said police spokeswoman Rachel McGuire.
“Obviously, preventing gun violence is part of that,” she said, adding that select groups will receive awards from the police department for their work.
Walsh is scheduled to start his rounds at 3:15 p.m. on Monday at Brighton Common in Brighton. He will then go to Iacono Playground in Hyde Park; Adams Park in Roslindale; the Mildred C. Hailey Apartments in Jamaica Plain; and Almont Park in Mattapan. His last stop is at 7:45 p.m. at the John A. Shelburne Community Center in Roxbury.
On Tuesday, events are scheduled from 3 to 9 p.m. at LoPresti Park in East Boston; Tai Tung Village in Chinatown; the Prado in North End; the Castle Square apartments in South End; Joe Moakley Park in South Boston; and Town Field Park in Dorchester.
Entertainment and activities for children are planned for both days.
Davida Andelman, chair of the Greater Bowdoin Geneva Neighborhood Association, said that while National Night Out is important for her community, it would be great for city officials to maintain strong relationships with residents throughout the year.
“National Night Out is one night out of the year,” said Andelman, who has lived most of her 70 years in the Bowdoin-Geneva neighborhood. “If there were more local-type events, that’s what we need. We need to get more people engaged in working with issues in their neighborhoods.”
Engagement from the city is particularly important in the summer, she said, when violent crime tends to spike in Boston.
“The real nitty-gritty grunt work has to happen in the neighborhoods,” Andelman said. “It’s time-consuming and energy-consuming.”
On their website, Boston police urged residents to turn on lights in front of their homes “to demonstrate our united community effort against crime.”
In mid-July, Evans said he plans to reach out more to minority communities. His words came after a local poll showed almost one-third of black residents said they feel police do not treat them fairly.
“I’d like to reduce that as best I can,” Evans said. “I’d like to have more dialogue with those who believe that. We’re always looking to improve.”