Marty believes we make our city safer by lifting people up rather than by locking people up.
On the first day of his administration, he invited homicide survivors to his office to share their stories and their wisdom. Since that day, Marty has worked relentlessly with the community on safety strategies that are welcoming and productive. At a time of national tension from 2014 into 2015, Boston was recognized by the White House as a model for effective community-police relations. Read more about this, here.
The result is the most comprehensive public safety strategy in the city’s history and overall reductions every year in both violent crime and property crime. Marty reached across neighborhoods, cities, and states in his work against illegal guns, to help to show the nation a new way forward at a time when popular, common-sense actions on gun safety are stymied in Washington. We’ve made progress, but we know we still have work to do in order to make sure everyone in this city feels safe in their neighborhood. Marty is committed to working with communities – not against them – to make that Boston a reality.
- Building trust in community-police relations
- Diversified the Boston Police Department. Marty and Commissioner William Evans appointed the most diverse police command staff in the history of the city. Both the command staff and the overall force now contain equal or greater proportions of African-Americans than the city’s population as a whole.
- Brought back the Police Cadet program. The cadet program allows young men and women from Boston neighborhoods to train for law enforcement careers and provide a diverse pipeline of police recruits. This year’s cadet program was over 70% people of color and 33% women.
- Advanced community friendly policing strategies, from de-escalation and youth engagement training, to police-community-clergy task forces on social justice.
- Created an Office of Public Safety to drive community partnerships and an Office of Returning Citizens to reduce recidivism and strengthen neighborhoods.
- Upgraded the Emergency Notification system to include multiple languages.
- Launched an emergency shelter finder map for residents.
- Getting guns off the streets
- Marty made stopping illegal gun trafficking a top priority, and is committed to ridding Boston of the illegal guns used in crimes. From 2014-2016, Boston Police recovered 2,625 firearms, an annual rate nearly 40% higher than in the previous six years.
- He launched an annual New England Regional Gun Violence Summit, to fight the interstate trafficking that brings illegal guns to Boston. In three years Mayor Walsh’s summits have engaged 86 cities and towns across six states, resulting in groundbreaking data-sharing agreements, research projects, outreach to legal gun owners, and actions by law enforcement agencies to use their own purchasing power to incentivize safe practices by firearms dealers.
- Banned replica handguns. In 2015, Mayor Walsh signed an ordinance banning replica handguns in public spaces, making residents aware of the danger of replica handguns and increasing the dialogue about their consequences with Boston’s young people.
- Breaking the cycle of violence
- Added Street Workers. In 2015, Mayor Walsh negotiated the merger of The Boston Foundation’s StreetSafe program into the City’s street worker team, adding dozens of new street workers and ensuring coverage for every public housing development.
- Created Neighborhood Trauma Teams in the 5 most hard-hit communities, to coordinate response and recovery after violent incidents and help break the cycle of suffering.
- Created second-chance programs for at-risk young people. Operation Exit and Professional Pathways are career preparation programs for formerly court-involved young adults that help them build skills and launch careers. Read about Operation Exit in the New York Times.
- Helped launch a movement to end human trafficking. Marty forged working partnerships with international human rights groups like Demand Abolition, and he expanded the Boston Police Department’s Human Trafficking Division. His strategy is to reduce demand through public awareness and a crackdown on sex buyers, while providing trafficked women with opportunities for freedom and safety.
- Improving quality of life and spreading opportunity
- Acted to get needles out of our parks and off our sidewalks. Mayor Walsh introduced the Mobile Sharps Collection Team to clear Boston of unsafely discarded needles. Residents can use the 311 mobile app or phone hotline to report a loose needle and the clean up crew will locate and collect the waste. With help from residents, the team collected 2,000 needles in its first month alone.
- Unprecedented investments in Stronger Schools, Good Jobs, and more–to bring the hope and opportunity to our neighborhoods that gets more young people on the right track.
- Expanded summer jobs. Mayor Walsh made youth summer jobs a priority, working with employers to get more than 10,000 Boston teens meaningful summer work each year. In addition, responding to the need for earlier intervention, Mayor Walsh led the creation of Enhancing Potential, Inspiring Change (EPIC), a partnership led by the Mayor’s Public Safety Initiative with John Hancock and the Boys & Girls Club of Boston’s Youth Connect program. It is aimed at heading off youth violence by providing clinical case management and positive youth development opportunities for 50 of the most at-risk boys and girls ages 11 to 14.
- Banned the dangerous use of off-road vehicles on public roads and cracked down on illegal and otherwise dangerous riding behaviors.
- Build on success to expand regional and national cooperation to reduce illegal gun trafficking.
- Expand summer learning and working opportunities until they reach every young person in the city. Learn more, here.