BOSTON (CBS) — Police and city leaders are frustrated by the recent increase in violence over the last week. The increase in violence is something they anticipated and tried to prevent.
But Friday evening, the leaders hit the streets in Roxbury to let the people know they’re not giving up just yet. Boston Police Commissioner Bill Evans and Mayor Marty Walsh also went into the community to connect directly with the people they protect.
A resident shouted from the window of his van at Evans, “Hey commissioner, how are you doing?”
The Mayor and Commissioner joined leaders of the Twelfth Baptist Church and were walking the streets of Roxbury, letting people know their neighborhood is safe.
Resident Chir-Lynn Cruse appreciated seeing the community leaders.
“Him coming out every once in a while, yes I do,” she said.
The regularly scheduled Friday night walks will be getting attention amid a violent week in the city, particularly in Dorchester and Roxbury, where the walk passed the site of a recent homicide in Dudley Square.
Hyde Park resident James Mackey is more optimistic than most people.
“I mean I think these streets are safe. I think there is just certain things that happen that certain people can’t handle. There are a lot of things we can’t permit, or predict,” Mackey said.
The commissioner and mayor showed up for the walk, just hours after a closed meeting at city hall with community leaders. That meeting focused on how to prevent violence in the neighborhoods during the summer.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh says that the meeting Friday was to plan positive ways the city can end the recent increase in violent crime.
“Today was really thinking about laying down the foundation for a 365 day a year strategy how we deal with some of the kids some of the parents how we do some deeper things,” Walsh said.
While the long term plans are still evolving, on a rainy Friday night, this event is about letting people know that right now, hope for a safe city hasn’t been lost.
Evans says the city will settle down and get serious about working together.
“Yeah, it’s frustrating what happened, but you know we’re gonna buckle down, do these walks, do the community work and we’re gonna have a peaceful summer,” Evans said.
Some of the ideas that came out of that meeting were getting the teenagers involved in city programs, extending the hours for recreation centers, and outreach in the community by youth workers.