BOSTON (CBS) – Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Commissioner Bill Evans met in a closed-door meeting with community and religious leaders to try and solve Boston’s problem with increased violence.
That meeting was followed Friday evening with “Peace Walk.”
There have been nine incidents of violence since Monday bringing the total number of shootings and stabbing victims to 14.
One of the most recent acts was a stabbing. On Friday, 15-year-old McKinley Archie was in court being charged with murder as an adult. He hid behind a door to hide from the cameras. The 15-year-old is charged with stabbing an 18-year-old. Walsh says though that a police presence is necessary.
“How can we solve and how can we resolve some of the issues without policing?” Walsh asked in a press conference after the meeting.
Some of the ideas kicked around were getting the teenagers involved in city programs, extended hours for recreation centers, and outreach in the community by youth workers.
Walsh believes the meeting will create opportunities.
“It’s an opportunity to go out and recruit kids off the street and get them into the centers for playing sports, playing basketball, and swimming, whatever is in there,’ Walsh said.
Police Commissioner Bill Evans said his department increased manpower in anticipation of the uptick, but it happened anyway.
“There’s something more we have to do to make these kids safe, because just putting more cops out there hasn’t worked over the last week,” Evans said.
Police Superintendent William Gross says he believes his department can do more to work with other leaders in the city. He says, “We’re working hand-in-hand with not only the clergy, with our street workers, with our violence interrupters, that’s key. We want to have this dialogue and some type of mediation to stop this senseless violence.”
He says the next few hours are critical, “Absolutely. Our guys are out there now.”
Evans said his department planned ahead.
“We geared up for this. We had more cops in the neighborhoods, but we still had the same outcome,” Evans also said.
That outcome is causing an emotional toll on some of the city’s people.
“I’m getting tired of it I really am,” said Dorchester resident Judy Blackwell. “It’s like a day don’t pass someone is getting hurt.”
Thursday alone, two young men were shot and one of them killed on Blue Hill Ave. in Dorchester, within 50 yards of officers walking their beat.
“It’s frustrating. It’s frustrating, it’s brazen,” said Boston Police Commissioner William Evans.
Thursday morning, Boston Police say four suspects broke into a Hyde Park home, kidnapped a 59-year-old woman at gunpoint and forced her to withdraw cash from an ATM before they abandoned her at a cemetery.
“It’s something we’re not used to in Boston,” said Mayor Marty Walsh.
In response to the recent spike in violence, Walsh and Evans have called a meeting with other city leaders on Friday to find a solution for a safer summer.
“We’re going to have a real good conversation around what efforts we’ve done, where are we, and pick it up in certain areas,” said Walsh. “We don’t want to turn neighborhoods into police states. If communities want more visibility from police, we’re going to make sure they’re there.”
Some neighbors say they just want to see a proactive approach coming out of the meeting.
“A lot of times you walk past the youth because you’re afraid of them. No, when you see something, correct them out of love, with some love,” said Dorchester resident Charles Clemons Muhammad.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Karyn Regal reports