The Walsh Administration’s public safety approach will be guided by the current local, national, and international best practices of innovation and collaboration. This is defined by multi-agency collaborations across city departments as well as across state, federal, and municipal jurisdictions. This approach speaks to the principles that will define Marty’s City Hall. No one agency or group can keep Boston safe by itself –they need to work as a team. This policy’s focus is on pairing new ideas with time-tested successful practices, ultimately using both to create policy that will keep Boston safe.
Marty’s policy on fighting crime will rely upon intelligence gathering, smart policing, and community-based efforts. In some of these areas Boston already excels and is considered a national example. Nevertheless, there is a still much to be done and with Marty in City Hall, progress will be made.
The Walsh Administration’s public safety policy is integrative with crime prevention and policing. It is informed by a variety of cutting-edge approaches already proven in other locales. It is through intelligent teamwork and community partnerships that a new vision for Boston’s public safety will be realized. All Bostonians must feel safe, and like their concerns are heard. The Walsh Administration will not duck the realities of crime in Boston. Where violence occurs, it will be acknowledged, and innovative community-based practices will be adopted so that further crime is dramatically lessened.
ACCESS: Marty will work to guarantee that all Boston residents have access to safe public and private spaces. This includes making our homes, streets, and public gathering places safe through innovative thinking and collaboration.
- Community Policing – Marty will work to expand problem-oriented policing, collaborating with police, clergy, youth, social service agencies, community activists and researchers to fight crime and violence at its root. Marty will work with the BPD to expand walking and bicycle beats. He will provide better outreach to communities so all residents are aware of their Community Service Officers (CSO), and trust working with them. Enhanced public outreach will allow Bostonians to learn about crime prevention and consult about neighborhood issues with law enforcement. CSOs will also gain from this, allowing the police to act on matters most pressing to the constituents they serve.
- Diversionary Programs – Marty will work to develop diversionary programs for individuals arrested for nonviolent crimes as a result of substance abuse or mental health issues, where appropriate. Partnering with courts, health care providers, social service agencies and community groups, Marty will expand existing programs that mandate alternative forms of treatment in lieu of traditional incarceration. Boston will work with the state and court systems to create a collaborative evaluation and assessment criteria for both juvenile and adult systems.
- Decreasing Violence Against Women – Marty will address the increasing violence against women in Boston through a variety of systemic changes. These will include: more women in leadership positions in public safety agencies including the BPD, increased domestic violence curriculum in schools, pairing social support services with police in domestic violence crimes, and the creation of a panel of female leaders representing various agencies and community groups focused on women’s issues that will regularly consult with him. The Walsh Administration will talk about the culture of violence against women. Addressing this culture will take place across departments, within police, and at City Hall. Public safety is women’s safety – not a “special topic” that receives tangential support or press conferences but little action.
- Prostitution/Human Trafficking – Marty will work to expand BPD investigations into prostitution and human trafficking with an emphasis on the demand side. This policy will be guided by more focus on criminal charges for traffickers and buyers, with increased access to social services for victims of trafficking.
- Consolidated Databases for Police – Marty will work to consolidate the multiple databases that Boston Police currently use in the field to allow for quicker access for proper identification and investigative purposes. This will allow police to do their jobs more effectively and will prevent crime in real-time rapid fashion.
ACCOUNTABILITY: Marty will ensure that his administration’s public safety policies will be accountable to all Bostonians, and exclude no voice.
- Expanding the Fight on Illegal Firearms – Marty will engage with municipal leaders in cities known as pathways for guns to stop the flow to Boston. He will engage elected officials and law enforcement across city and state lines to help prevent and remove the flow of illegal firearms from surrounding states with more lax gun laws to Boston. Partnering with fellow Mayors in this fashion typifies Marty’s collaborative and innovative approach to city government.
- Diversifying the Command Staff of of the BPD – Marty will diversify the BPD command staff. He will work to ensure equity in the Civil Service examination, including partnering with The Ruffin Society at Northeastern University, which worked with the BPD in the 1980’s to prepare a program completed by 14 minority officers who became sergeants.
- Citizen Advisory Council - Marty will create a Citizen Advisory Council with direct access to the Mayor's office to build off the Community Policing Program and expand civic engagement around public safety. This Council will be chosen through a diverse, multi-agency panel and will be representative of all Boston neighborhoods.
- Prevent Crime with Technology – Marty will consolidate data collected by police and civilian analysts [like the work currently being done at Boston Regional Intelligence Center (BRIC)] with past crime statistics to better engage in preventative policing. This will ensure that crimes across all levels of severity can be solved more effectively. By pairing time-tested police work with new cutting-edge technologies, Marty will strive to make our streets safer. Marty will explore ways to protect both police and citizens by employing technology.
COLLABORATION: Marty will collaborate across city agencies, as well as across state and federal lines, to make sure that Boston is a team player in keeping its residents safe.
- Fighting Youth Gang Violence – To fight gang violence, Marty will expand on successful programs already in place. Like the multi-agency PACT program, and its successful predecessor Operation Ceasefire, that target gang members most likely to commit, or be the victim of violence, his policy will be guided by collaboration. Marty’s policy will allow BPD to work with various criminal justice agencies, as well as community groups and service providers to better monitor high-risk youth and provide them with necessary services to turn their lives around. These services will continue to be comprised of city, non-profit, and faith-based organizations based in neighborhoods where violence is highest. Marty will assemble a diverse Youth Gang Violence Committee to audit existing programs and policies around fighting gang violence. This committee will research and contact successful youth violence programs in other cities, to learn proven best practices. Recognizing that gang culture has changed considerably since the Boston Miracle, Marty will also work with researchers and people in the field to identify new collaborative approaches. Marty’s goal is to reduce gang violence and he will seek innovation and success wherever it is evident.
- Reentry Expansion – Marty will sustain and expand the Boston Reentry Initiative, providing increased monitoring and resources for individuals being released from correctional facilities. Marty understands how whole communities are negatively affected when formerly convicted individuals, who have done their time, cannot find meaningful work and enrichment. He also understands that individuals with serious charges require structured support and monitoring while in their transition phase.
- Expanding Street Outreach Programs – Marty will shift existing street outreach practices around violence prevention to a more public health approach. This will be a more comprehensive way of addressing a problem that is not only about public safety, but about individual and public wellness. He will work to identify jobs and services that will be available to youth seeking a way out of gang life.
- Training Partnerships – Marty will partner BPD, Boston Fire Department (BFD), and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) with more training opportunities around best practices while encouraging more inter-agency connections to increase communication.
- Training for “Non-Traditional” Emergency Disciplines – The Boston Marathon attack demonstrated rapid response and recovery requires participation from agencies not traditionally considered emergency management related (Parks, ISD, BTD, Public Works, etc.). FEMA has training modules available for individuals in these disciplines. Using the FEMA model, Marty will ensure that emergency management training can be more widely implemented across city agencies.
TRANSPARENCY: Marty will work to increase and expand policies that promote clarity and effectiveness in keeping Boston safe.
- Emergency Preparedness- The national Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP) has recognized Boston’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) for its exceptional ability to bring together personnel, resources, and communication in preparation for, and in response to, emergencies and disasters. Despite these achievements, most citizens, and several public safety departments, do not understand what OEM does or that it even exists. Marty will strengthen the role of OEM and Boston’s ability to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from all hazards—person-made and natural.
- Social Media – Using an Open Data policy, Marty will partner with private tech innovators to create a comprehensive city network for neighborhood watch/civic groups to connect across neighborhood lines to better share information and solutions as to how they monitor and prevent crime. This will also enable stronger neighborhood groups in our city to personally share their proven methods for safety with citizens who want to do a better job for their groups.
Marty Will Make It Happen as Mayor: Marty has a long track record of proven results in public safety.
- Marty co-sponsored a bill that approves new technology regulating the sale of guns in Massachusetts. The legislation also allows for easier tracking of guns used in crimes. (S. 1162)
- collaborated with the City of Boston to create a gun offender registry to keep better track of individuals with gun convictions. (H. 3255)
- sponsored a bill to provide increased services and legal protections for emergency first responders dealing with negative effects of trauma (H. 2205)
- partnered with the City of Boston in co-sponsoring a bill creating a gang prevention task force. This group consists of key members from all state agencies involved in dealing with gang-involved individuals who enter the criminal justice system, as well as with community groups, to work towards creating more innovative policy around combatting gang violence. (H. 1376)
- sponsored a bill allowing firefighters to expand trainings to better address specific local needs (H. 2206)
- co-sponsored a bill that would require Sober Housing to be certified with Bureau of Substance Abuse Services and Department of Public Health to ensure the safety of Boston’s residents and provide safe and affordable housing for individuals in recovery (H.1168)
- Marty’s sixteen years as a State Representative has allowed him to be a leader and team player in addressing complex public safety issues. As Mayor, he will be able to expand upon that work to best effect change on a large scale to help keep Bostonians safe. Marty has the vision and commitment to face the difficult challenges.
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