Governor Deval L. Patrick
Anti-Crime Council Meeting
October 25, 2007
This is a working meeting and they have been. For out visitors, we usually don't have visitors. What we usually do is come together on a monthly basis as we have since the spring to brainstorm about different strategies that can work all around the Commonwealth to get at not just the fact of crime, or responses of crime, but causes of crime as well. The Attorney General has taken on the leadership of an Urban Violence Sub-Committee. It was part of our regularly scheduled, this month's regularly scheduled meeting that she and her sub-committee would present some of the work they have been doing and give us a chance react to and reflect on that. And that is the central part of the meeting. But because we have the… because we have all been focused on account of a string of tragedies, one I think in some ways, particularly poignant, and they all are. But when a child is lost, particularly poignant. We thought it would be helpful to open the meeting to some of you I've talked to separately and some of you I've never met before and some of you, I think all of you have contribution to make to sharpen our thinking about strategies that can work. And we would like to help make work in partnering with this Mayor and other mayors and local officials around the Commonwealth. We are going to start: Mr. Mayor, you have to go don't you? Can you stay a little while?
Mayor Menino: I'll stay a while.
We are going to start with Mayor Menino talking about some of the strategies that he's been working on here in Boston, then we'll go to the Attorney General and the District Attorney Blodgett who will talk about their work. Excuse me John, John is co-chairing right? John has been co-chairing your (Attorney General) violence sub-committee, so we will go then to your presentation. And then we have several guests who each in turn will have chance to teach us and let us react and it they, I just want to prepare you, we're pretty free-flowing, Mr. Mayor I prepare you too. We're pretty free-flowing. People will interrupt with question. Yea, it's alright, I know you can handle it.
Mayor Menino: You know, us Mayors, we're used to that.
Governor Patrick: You're used to being free-flowing.
Mayor Menino: We don't have a structure like the State does. We go out to the community all the time and listen to this stuff. Right Cynthia?
Governor Patrick: Let's get started. Well let me say once again that I appreciate you all for participating, I'm grateful. Mr. Mayor, over to you.
Mayor Menino: Thank you Governor. Thank you all for being here, the Governor and I had several conversations about this issue many times. What's our solution? What do we need? How do we get there? You know, we had a great success early on in 1993, 94, and 95. You know crime was way down. If you want to look at numbers, crime is down, but still there is a real fear out there, and I think it's a different world today than it was in those days. Something's going on in our community. I know our public health commissioner goes around to the community and has young people talk about some of those issues. And I think the best input we'll get today is from the young people on that side of the table, because they have some real life experiences. They have some real questions they have to ask, and they will ask those questions but as Mayor, I think this issue is more than just police, it's intervention and prevention. Before we get to the enforcement piece, how do we get to the people young? How do we help them out? Give them some hope, some opportunities, and prevent them from turning to the world of crime. And that's the issues we have to deal with, we all think it's more police. Folks, it isn't more police, we have more police in Boston than we did in 2001. It's about people losing hope, they see no opportunity for themselves. We as a community, we try all the time and with the limited resources we do a decent job. But as the Mayor of this city, the toughest thing is how do we crack some of those kids? You know folks, 99% of those kids are great kids. There's only a small portion of young people who stray, but they cause heart-aches for a lot of other folks in our city. And we just need to help some of those kids, both sides. The kids across the table, they're not angels, they're just good kids. They know what the streets are all about, and they want to stop what's going on in our city. Now how do we get some of those kids? The other issue we got is the issue of citizenry. Kid's get out of prison, where do they go to get a job? The issue of CORI, a lot of these people come out of incarceration and they want to have a new life, but they can't, because they try to get a job and immediately get turned down. Then they go back to their old ways. And that is one of the issues, it's a tough issue to deal with, we've dealt with this issue, trying to get people to understand it. It's very important for our young people. And what we're doing in Boston, Barbara Fereres with me, whose the public health commissioner, we're going to break our city down to neighborhoods. We're going to start with four or five small neighborhoods in Boston and try pin-point services, so everybody has an opportunity to get a service. Even if we have to go to their house and deliver them to the service. Because too many families in the city of Boston today, their parents are holding their kids captive in the house because they don't want them to go outside. So what we're going to try and do is connect with those families and with those kids so they have opportunities. That's what we're going to try and do. The Police Commissioner has his walking beats out there, and they've been phenomenal because they get to know who to talk to. The people in the neighborhoods, they're coming through with some information. And so it's not police work that I'm involved with now, it's how we help those kids. How do we help them and give them hope? Give them Opportunities? Intervene with them early on? And prevent them from being part of the law-enforcement world? And I think it's much more complicated than anyone wants to face, the press is always (saying) put more cops out, it will solve all your problems. It's not going to solve the problems, it's not going to solve the problems at all. We've done that in Boston. So I'm just saying, we need to get all our collective minds, there are some great people in this room who do some great things. The harder we filter it down. The harder we get the resources to make those programs work in a lot more neighborhoods than they work now. I mean (inaudible) does a good job over in Chelsea. I've known, I've seen what they do. I mean. You know, EMIT does a good job. How do we all make this collectively work together? That's our challenge. And how do we get to the young people? How do we get them to believe that they have an opportunity for the future? How do we give them hope? That's our challenge. Thank you Governor.
Governor Patrick: Thank you.