We must work with both the police and the community to foster safer neighborhoods. We will increase communication between police and residents while bolstering support for families that have been traumatized by violence. No one – whatever their race, ethnicity, immigration status, religion, gender identity, or sexual orientation–should fear participating in public life. Boston will protect those who are trying to make a better life for themselves and their families.
Based on data-driven, evidence-based practices develop a comprehensive plan to address youth violence in our communities. We will identify the small number of youth committing violence in our communities and engage them using neighborhood change agents to assist in creating life and personal goals. We will implement best practices such as the “Richmond model” (Richmond, CA) to achieve long-term success.
Increase the number of Boston Police (BPD) officers without increasing the number of policing hours. Currently, BPD relies too heavily on police overtime. We will use the overtime budget to hire more officers – especially officers that reflect the diversity of Boston. We will actively work to recruit more officers of color and women of all races.
Redeploy Safe Street Teams especially in high crime hot spot areas. The Safe Street Teams will focus on neighborhood collaboration and social issues, implementing a true community policing model.
Implement the Police Body Camera Program. Research indicates camera use can reduce use of force and civilian complaints.
Create an Independent Civilian Review Board for BPD. A diverse, independent community board will provide increased transparency and accountability without interfering with the police’s ability to do their important work.
Increase the number of substance use disorder treatment beds and implement a Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion Program (LEAP) to address the current opioid and overdose crisis. We will work with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts along with partner providers to reopen the Long Island Campus. We will also establish a central online service to remove gaps in care and barriers to access by providing real-time data on available treatment and recovery resources as well as harm reduction services such as syringe exchange locations, safe sharps disposal locations, and places to access naloxone.
Require needle pick-up training for janitors and school employees. It is a sad reality that needles have found their way into our school grounds and play areas. We will implement a sharps disposal training program for custodians and school employees to ensure that everyone responsible for maintaining these areas is properly trained to safely dispose of stray needles. Additionally, we will increase the number of public and semi-public sharps disposal kiosks to reduce the number of publicly discarded needles.
Create an Immigrant Legal Defense Fund and implement Sanctuary Schools protections. Building on legislation I introduced early this year, I would create an immigrant defense fund to keep families together and provide legal assistance, and implement protections guaranteeing Sanctuary Schools status for the Boston Public Schools. In addition, a newly established Ombudsperson at City Hall would provide advocacy for our immigrant residents, ensuring there are translation services at every hospital and community health center and investigating allegations of discrimination at city hospitals and health centers.