News Posts and Articles
Alban Murtishi, MassLive.com
The Boston Police Department's K-9 Unit suffered a major loss this week after the sudden passing of K9 Bronson, a police dog trained under officer Troy Caisey.
Caisey wrote a heartfelt announcement of Bronson's passing, reminding readers of the impact the K-9 unit has had on policing.
"Bronson, in my opinion, was truly a Police Dog. He possessed drive and determination to do the job he was trained to do with energy and enthusiasm, which was always at a high level," Caisey wrote.
Caisey met Bronson eight years ago when he was just a 12-week-old puppy. He was the first dual purpose patrol and explosion detection K9 in the Boston Police Department's K-9 unit.
Read the entire article here.
Government Executive - By Charles S. Clark January 13, 2017
Beginning on Friday, theaters across the country will return willing viewers to the trauma of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing via the new movie thriller “Patriots Day.”
The cast of notables includes Kevin Bacon (as FBI agent in charge Richard DesLauriers), John Goodman (as Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis) and Mark Wahlberg (as a composite of real characters in Boston police Sgt. Tommy Saunders). They recreate the tick-tock of the four-day hunt for the domestic terrorists whose pressure-cooker bombs caused three deaths and injured more than 200.
Co-written and directed by Peter Berg, the movie effectively draws in the audience by introducing all the key players—victims, law enforcement professionals, politicians and tipsters—first in intimate situations in their homes with loved ones. Gradually the role each played in the whole-of-community response is made clear.
Among the many tense and poignant clashes the movie recreates are the inevitable tensions between differing law enforcement agencies—particularly as the all-powerful FBI bigfoots its way in to the manhunt. The Massachusetts governor, Boston mayor and police commissioner are at first reluctant to declare the crime an act of terrorism, which means the FBI comes in to set up the unified command center and floods the zone with hazmat specialists, computer analysts and a hostage rescue team.
“This is my city,” the commissioner anguishes.
They disagree over whether releasing photos of the still-unidentified bombers would generate useful leads or serve as an embarrassing confession of how little authorities know.
You can finish reading the article here.
By Meagan McGinnes November 7, 2016
Almost a century ago, James W. Kennedy was among more than 1,100 Boston police officers who walked off the job to protest their working conditions, one of the largest police strikes in US history. On Wednesday, Kennedy’s helmet and baton were returned to Boston Police Department headquarters, unexpected relics from a tumultuous time.
The Rev. Robert Kennedy donated the equipment, which belonged to his grandfather, a patrolman who joined the Boston police force in 1907. Margaret Sullivan, records manager and archivist for the Police Department, said it hopes to display the items in recognition of the 1919 strike.
“We’re coming up on the centennial of the strike, and I expect there will be plenty of opportunities to show this,” she said. “It’s wonderful to have equipment that can be connected to a particular officer.”
Police went on strike in 1919 for higher wages and better working conditions, Sullivan said. Officers were required to work overtime without pay and slept in stations that were often unclean. Their wages hadn’t budged for years.
See the article here.
WBUR.ORG January 12, 2017By Zeninjor Enwemeka
In an effort to strengthen relationships with the city's youth, the Boston Police Department is teaming up with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay to launch a mentoring program that will pair officers with young people.
Mayor Marty Walsh announced the initiative Thursday and said it will build off the department's existing community policing efforts.
"Our goal is that when young people see police in our neighborhoods, they won’t be afraid and they also will have a caring trusting adult that they can sit and talk to," Walsh said.
Read the entire article here.
Legal NewsLine - Christina Suttles Jan. 17, 2017
BOSTON (Legal Newline) – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has reversed summary judgment in favor of the city of Boston after a faction of the Boston Police Department alleged the department’s hair follicle drug-testing method has a discriminatory impact on African-American officers.
The plaintiffs argued chemical treatments often used by the African-American community make black hair more susceptible to contaminants – in this case, cocaine – encouraging false positives at a higher rate than Caucasian hair. The officers terminated as a result of the test will now proceed to trial on their discrimination claims.
The U.S District Court of Massachusetts initially issued summary judgment to the city, declaring the racial difference in results to be statistically insignificant, but upon remand found the department may have refused to embrace a more reliable drug testing technique that would ensure accurate results.
In October, an appeals court ordered the department to restore the jobs of six officers terminated after positive drug test results, another blow to the city’s drug-testing practices.
Read the article and othe comments here.
Boston Globe -JANUARY 09, 2017
When Jeffrey Kelly was shot to death outside of a Jamaica Plain convenience store, in August, few probably expected the murder of a panhandler in a wheelchair, which quickly faded from headlines, to get the kind of investigation that can lead to an arrest. So it was a surprise recently when Amos Carrasquillo was apprehended and indicted by a Suffolk County grand jury on charges of first-degree murder and unlawful possession of a firearm. After his arraignment, the 28-year-old Dorchester man was ordered held without bail.
Carrasquillo’s arrest came in the midst of a homicide-solving surge for the Boston Police Department, which has seen its success rate jump 10 percent over a two-year period. With a grant from the US Bureau of Justice Assistance Smart Policing Initiative in 2012, the police department overhauled its homicide unit, adding civilian staff and investigators as well as beefing up its training and technology. It also brought in Northeastern University researchers to evaluate the results.
After trailing many other cities in cracking murder cases, Boston achieved a homicide-clearance rate that hit 57 percent between 2012 and 2014. Last year, 61 percent of Boston’s 38 homicides were solved, the highest rate in five years. (A murder case is considered cleared by police when a suspect has been charged, or if the suspect dies before charges are filed. Also, these figures do not reflect the department’s clearance rate for nonfatal assaults.)
Clearing homicide cases is also a tangible sign of police accountability, especially in communities of color, where histories of friction with law enforcement are sustained, in part, by the belief that crimes against its citizens aren’t vigorously investigated. These days when people talk about accountability, the conversation usually concerns official transparency and whether officers will be properly punished for abuses of power and misconduct. Yet it’s also about solving crimes, especially the most serious ones, through fair, thorough investigations, and by arresting suspects. That is what the public expects and deserves.
You can finish reading the article here.
21st Century State and Local BY: KATE DENARDI JANUARY 18, 2017
Following public backlash, the Boston Police Department (BPD) has scrapped plans to purchase social media monitoring technology. As 21st Century State & Local reported in 2016, Boston police were soliciting bids from vendors to purchase social media scanning software. However, civil rights activists, including the ACLU, launched protests and public pressure against what they viewed to be privacy infringements.
However, after receiving vendor bids and considering the public’s reaction to the technology, the BPD has decided to forgo contracting with any vendors at this time. Additionally, William B. Evans, commissioner of the BPD, is sending his team back to the drawing board and is asking them to consider re-drafting the request for proposals to ensure that the BPD acquires the appropriate level of technology, while also protecting the privacy of the public.
“After reviewing the submitted proposals I felt that the technology that was presented exceeds the needs of the department. I met with Mayor (Marty) Walsh and with his support we have decided not to enter into a contract at this time. Our plan from the beginning was to use this process to learn and examine the capabilities of the technology and use that information to make informed decisions,” said Evans. “Moving forward, we will continue the process of inspecting what is available and ensuring that it meets the needs of the department while protecting the privacy of the public.”
To increase public trust in both the police department and the use of technology by the police, Evans is also asking City Councilor Andrea Campbell, chair of the Committee on Public Safety and Criminal Justice, to solicit feedback from the public on policy issues related to the use of the technology. Evans also asked Campbell to provide the public with information on the BPD’s intended use of the social media scanning technology, as well as provide instances where the technology is necessary to effectively protect the public.
Read the entire article here.
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Do not suffer in silence,
Sgt. Mark Freire
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