District A-1 personnel continued to provide high visibility in the heavily travelled Downtown Crossing neighborhood of Boston. The Downtown Crossing includes sidewalk businesses, pubs & restaurants, theaters, college residents and local residents. The Downtown Crossing expands outwardly in all directions from Winter Street and Washington Street. There is an influx of high school students and shoppers that utilize the Red, Orange and Blue Lines along the MBTA transit stops of Park Street, Washington Street, State Street, and the Chinatown Stations. Tourists, shoppers and locals shop and dine in the neighborhood. The business community has the greatest concentration of people in the area during the business hours. Students from Emerson College and Suffolk University also have dormitories in the neighborhood. There are tens of thousands of people that walk through this area every day.
District A-1 has officers patrolling on bicycle, foot beats and police vehicles. Our goal is to ensure a safe environment throughout the Downtown Crossing and our other neighborhoods as well. Because our officers continuously provide high visibility, proactive policing and are in direct communication with our constituents, the area remains safe for visitors and residents alike. Our District A-1 Safe Street Team Officers (on bicycles) on all three shifts have provided the additional coverage necessary to maintain order. The three major crimes that we concentrate on in this neighborhood are robberies, larcenies and assaults. In 2009, there were 40 robberies, 45 aggravated assaults, and 621 larcenies compared to 62 robberies, 55 aggravated assaults and 688 larcenies in 2008. Respectively, the reductions were 36%, 10% and 19%. District A-1 has had continuing partnerships with the Downtown Crossing Partnership, Midtown Park Plaza Neighborhood Association and Faneuil Hall Marketplace that have helped make the difference in these reductions.
In the neighborhoods of Charlestown, the North End, Beacon Hill, the West End, the Bulfinch Triangle, the Waterfront, the Financial District, Downtown Crossing, Chinatown, the Leather District, Bay Village and the Public Gardens/Boston Common, we deploy our undercover anti-crime officers on all three shifts. Their focus has been on open drug activity, trespassing, warrant checks, crime surveillance, and civil disobedience. Our District A-1 Officers also continue to focus on the Boston Common. The officers enforce all park rules and regulations, remove disruptive people, and perform proactive patrols.
Our District A-1 Community Service Office continues partnerships with neighborhood groups such as Charlestown Against Drugs, the Charlestown Substance Abuse Coalition, North End Against Drugs, Mission Safe, Recovery Outreach Community, Boston Asian: Youth Essential Services and bring all community representatives together for our District A-1 Advisory Board. The Community Service Officers offer crime prevention and problem solving presentations to the local schools and community centers, the elderly, business community, local associations and community groups.
The staff of District A-1 continues to work closely with groups such as the Midtown Park Plaza Neighborhood Association, formed by local residents and businesses to combat Theater District drug-related crime. Together they discuss quality of life issues, crime prevention, and other community-related concerns in a joint attempt to eradicate illegal drug dealing. At the same time, comprehensive anti-crime initiatives such as \”Operation Common Cure” have effected numerous drug-dealing and warrant arrests in the Theater District and nearby Bay Village and Chinatown neighborhoods.
The District A-1 Advisory Committee helped A-1 personnel to work collectively with representatives from neighborhoods throughout the district to improve quality of life and reduce crime in the neighborhoods. Because of those efforts District A-1 saw a 12% overall reduction in Part I crime. In addition to these representatives, district personnel also continued to work closely with members of the Downtown North Association; the Chinatown, Charlestown, and North End Safety Committees; the Bay Village, and Leather District\’s Neighborhood Associations; and the Lower Washington Street, and Charlestown Youth Task Forces on a regular basis.
Captain Bernard O\’Rourke
Commanding Officer – District A-1/15