I went to the Neighborhood Council’s Public Safety meeting this Tuesday to see what was going on with the problem outside Durty Harry’s and the A1 Convenience Store on Main Street.
I was disappointed that more people didn’t show up to discuss the situation, especially since so many had voiced their opinions on the topic after the last time I wrote about it. (I was told that some residents attended the monthly Council meeting to express their concerns.)
But those that were there really impressed me with their knowledge of the situation. I was more than impressed to see a number of young people in the audience adding their voice to the discussion.
I have to tell you that the Boston Police Department is on top of the situation. They know who the trouble makers are. They have made arrests after incidents have occurred. They patrol the area on foot, on bike and in their cars. They do what the law allows them to do.
Make note that they are not social workers and don’t go into the homes of these individuals to council the families as to how to raise their kids. They don’t bring them before the judge. They have no say on what the court systems does with them.
I learned that one of those involved had at least 30 “incidents” on his police record, yet the court system let him go after his appearance and he was back out on the streets within hours. I also learned that not only are their young people in their teens hanging in that location, but adults approaching their 50s are also there, either on drugs or drunk.
I also learned that the police are working closely with Charlestown Against Drugs and Charlestown Substance Abuse Coalition on the addiction problems associated with some of these individuals. There is a social worker who visits their homes in an attempt to make the families aware of the services available to them, try to get the kid a job to get him off the streets and an array of other assistance programs that out there for their use.
I was thrilled to hear our young adults give their slant on the situation. One said that the kids who hang at this location (who don’t get into trouble), feel that they are being treated unfairly, being singled out and picked on by the police. Guilt by association! Another asked that the businesses in Charlestown open a movie theater or a video arcade where young people can go to. Another advised those too old to play youth sports get involved by volunteering to coach.
The need is great, he said, “People gave to us, now it's time to give back.”
What a great way to spend those idle hours!
The police response included advice on how to get things done, such as contacting their elected officials to get a designated location opened for them to make their own, and bring into that site something they enjoy doing. Another added that was how the 520 Club and K of C got started by like-minded people who wanted a place of their own to congregate and enjoy each other’s company.
I walked away with a better sense of the situation, knowing that the problem still exists, but with a sense of relief that there are groups in the neighborhood who are working toward a solution. But, it has to begin at the source -- the home.
I learned that residents who live in the housing complexes around the town can be evicted if the household is a nuisance to the community. Maybe a little reminder of this will make these families wake up and start to control their offspring.
I’m glad I attended. Wish you were there, too!
Speaking of the Police meeting, I also heard that auto break-ins are up compared to this time last year! There’s no particular location that this happens. It’s all around the town. Folks, either take your GPS, cell phone or whatever other gadget you have, out of the car when you lock it up for the night. If you have to leave it in the car, hide it! If you use a GPS by sticking it on your windshield, don’t leave those rings on the glass telling a thief that, most likely, you left it in the glove compartment. This affects us all who insure cars in Charlestown.
Did you know that every time this type of crime is reported, our auto insurance rates can go up because we live in a “high crime area?” Smarten up by locking it up -- at home!
Did you hear about comedian Steve Sweeney being attacked at a comedy club on Route 1? Word is that a woman at the club wasn’t particularly impressed by Steve’s comment on her looks. Steve, not for nothing, but, as much as we love ya here at home, you’re no Fabio! And, Steve, just so you know, we in Char-les-town do enjoy reading books, too.
That’s all for now. God bless, Charlestown!