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|September 7, 2010
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Suffolk County Probation Officers Team Up with Boston Police In
First "Late Night Probation" Effort
Suffolk County Probation Officers teamed up with members of the Boston Police’s Youth Violence Strike Force Team for a new initiative dubbed “Late Night Probation” when Probation Officers go into neighborhoods from 11 p.m. until the wee hours of the morning to discourage violence among the city’s youth.
The focus of this first “Late Night Probation” initiative was to warn probationers and court-involved individuals to avoid the Boston Caribbean Festival, an annual celebration that attracts thousands of revelers each year. In the past, violence has marred this family-oriented event.
“We wanted to help keep it safe so that families could enjoy this community festival. We told them that if they are on probation and they break the law, their probation will be violated and they will be meeting the judge on Monday,” said Chief Probation Officer Anthony Gully, Boston Municipal Court (BMC)-Roxbury Division.
Carrying a clipboard with the names of probationers, their probation officers, offenses, and their curfew times, Gully; Chief probation Officer Mark Prisco, BMC-West Roxbury; and Suffolk County Regional Administrator Mark McHale approached court-involved individuals and sternly warned them to follow the terms of their probation.
“We’ve got their names and we know who they are,” McHale said of the probationers.
Gully added, “We are putting the message out that we are going to be in the community.” The Probation Officers shooed those out past their curfews home. The Chiefs checked the warrant status of the individuals they found relaxing on their home turf or walking around the neighborhood.
“Our partnership is one of the biggest partnerships we have. We couldn’t do half of these things without probation,” said BPD Deputy Superintendent Gary French.
The evening began with a high-speed chase of a speeding vehicle that continued down the street despite the wailing sounds of the police sirens. The operator of the car slowed down after s two minute chase, pulling over to the side of the road.
It turns out that the young driver, who was blasting loud music with the windows rolled up, had no idea he was being followed by police. A search of his license found that he had no record or outstanding warrants. He was sent on his way with a stern warning from Gully and the two members of the Youth Violence Strike Force: Patrolman Ismael Henriques and Emanuel Canuto.
Several miles away on Traveler Street, a young man in his late teens and on probation at BMC-Dorchester, appeared caught off guard when Gully, Henriques and Canuto approached him as he strolled down the street. The young man explained that he was on his way to pick up something to eat and would head straight home.
On the other side of town at 12: 30 a.m., McHale and Boston Police Officers pulled over a car and found five gang-affiliated young men, also referred to as “high-impact players.” They were questioned and then allowed to leave after it was determined that none were currently under probation supervision although all were known to police, according to McHale.
Meanwhile Gully and his police officer counterparts, Henriques and Canuto, entered the main entrance of a public housing development in Jamaica Plain where they approached two teenage boys, 15 and 16 years old, hanging out in the courtyard. Two older men sat at a nearby bench. One of the men was on probation. Gully checked his list
and found the name of the man’s Probation Officer. The Probation Officer sent a message through Gully that the man should return to his apartment immediately. Gully also warned the man, who is restricted by the court to his home, to not go to the Caribbean Festival.
Gully, Henriques, and Canuto traveled to the Dudley Street area where they found a man on probation and his inebriated uncle sitting on the stoop of their apartment building catching a breeze. Gully reminded him to keep his schedule with his Probation Officer.
At 1:30 a.m., the team of Probation Officers and police searched a man who admitted to having drugs on him which he handed over. Police then entered his name into the system and found an outstanding warrant. He was placed under arrest without incident.