Police pledged this week to devote more resources in the area after meeting with community members of the Fuller-Bailey Neighborhood Association. About 40 community members attended the meeting at St. Mark's VFW Post on Tuesday night, primarily revolving around a June 26 shooting on Carmela Lane. Two parents and their baby were almost caught in the middle of the shootout in the small street in between Fuller and Bailey Streets.
Neighborhood association members complained they hadn't seen police in the area, while officers who attended the meeting maintained they were out there and were backed up by City Council President Maureen Feeney.
"We know it hasn't been multiple shootings," said Shelly Goehring, an organizer with the neighborhood association. "But we wanted to send a message that we don't want it to get to that."
Members also complained about a lack of response to their calls about graffiti on walls in the area and youths loitering on the streets and causing trouble, with some of them coming from 1937 Dorchester Ave. Some said the graffiti could be signs of a growing problem between possibly warring groups and tied to the June 26 shooting.
Others volunteered to go on walks around the neighborhood as part of a crime watch, and team up to wash the walls of the graffiti.
District C-11 Captain John Greland, who attended the meeting, said officers had identified most of the kids involved with 1937 Dorchester Ave. "We don't know yet if it was the kids getting shot at," he said. "It doesn't mean it wasn't. My officers are up there and will continue to be."
Lt. Detective Jim Gaughan said he had spoken with the mother who lives at the address, who said she didn't want her address splashed on walls in the city or on baseball caps that some of the youths have been spotted wearing. "She's appalled by it," he said.
Police called on community members to remain vigilant and to not hesitate in calling 911 when they see something suspicious or a crime being committed. Don't assume someone else will make the call, they said.
They also said they would attempt to speak with private business owners on painting over some of the graffiti on their buildings, such as Ashmont Tire, across the street from the MBTA station.
But, they added, city loitering laws no longer exist, and the youths, if they aren't harming anybody, have a right to be simply standing around. "They have a right to assemble, just like we're doing here," Greland said.
Greland also cautioned against spreading rumors, pointing to some in Savin Hill at one point coming under the impression that there was an arsonist loose after an accidental fire.
"That was not the case at all," he said. "But for a period of a month, people were in an uproar."