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By Christine Hayes
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino announced a plan to decrease summer violence among youth in a press conference this week with city police, school officials, and human services personnel.
The incoming class of police recruits will be assigned beats in key areas starting in July. The plan is to increase foot and bicycle patrols with the goal of 45,000 beats by the end of August.
Boston police are also adding new Street Safe teams near Harvard Ave. and Newbury St.
The Street Safe program is sponsored by The Boston Foundation. The program strives to cut down on violence in neighborhoods with the most active gang violence. Communities are supported within the South End/Lower Roxbury area, Dudley Square, Grove Hall, the Bowdoin St. area of Dorchester, and the Morton and Norfolk St. sections of Dorchester.
Violence intervention and prevention teams are beginning a door-to-door campaign to spread information about summer activities and jobs. The city will sponsor movie nights, job programs, and health and safety programs for girls.
Mayor Menino is also stressing community involvement and communication to crack down on violence in violent neighborhoods.
“We will be more proactive, more visible, and more available to the public than ever. We will not tolerate anyone trying to disrupt summer in Boston with violence,” Mayor Thomas M. Menino said.
Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis says the city averages about 37 shootings each month in July and August. These are the most dangerous months of the year because students are out of school. 90 people were shot last summer, with an average age of 26 among victims.
Boston Police will sync surveillance cameras in the city to turn in the direction of any incident happening within 1,000 feet. 75 individuals with charges including drug distribution in Roxbury were already apprehended by the BPD earlier this week in “Operation H.” The Youth Violence Strike Force plans to continue cutting down on gang activity in the neighborhood.