Public Safety

Crime rates dropped, but youth killings tore at security

The drumbeat of gun violence on the streets of Dorchester and Mattapan continued this year. It was particularly pronounced on the Area B-3 police district, which has recorded 22 homicides so far this year, the most of any district in the city. Area C-11 -which covers the eastern side of the neighborhood - saw a drop in murders from last year - from 16 in '06 to 10 so far in '07.  Read more

Hanlon still learning from the job as first justice at Dorchester court

In 1990, Sydney Hanlon was ready to move up.

After 15 years as a prosecutor, handling hundreds of cases of rape and child molestation and tracking the use of money laundering and hundreds of pounds of cocaine, and persuading judges to see her side, Hanlon wanted to be a judge herself.

"I wanted to be the person who made the decisions," she says now with a smile.  Read more

Infusion of new detectives to aid districts

Flush with a newly pinned batch of detectives, the Boston Police Department is hoping the reinforcements will help local police districts to further improve crime clearance rates and relieve overburdened investigators in the new year. The increased investigative help could also lead to the revival of a presently-defunct Cold Case Unit that takes aim at closing older, unsolved murder cases that continue to haunt the neighborhoods.  Read more

15 year-old is charged in Lower Mills murder

A 15 year-old Mattapan teen was arrested Tuesday and charged with manslaughter in the June murder of a 41 year-old man that stunned the Lower Mills neighborhood.

The teen, whose identity was not divulged because of his age, was 14 at the time of the attack. According to a statement released this week by police and prosecutors, the teen was "identified during the course of an extensive and ongoing Grand Jury investigation."  Read more

Special court tackles rise in gun arrests

In August 2006, Jeffrey Grand-Pierre gave Boston Police officers a workout. The 22 year-old suspect led police on a foot-chase down Washington and Dade Streets, tossing his Ruger .22 revolver before they caught up with him at Shawmut Avenue and Williams Street. Last month, the 22-year-old's case went to trial. Grand-Pierre was convicted and sentenced to two-and-a-half years for carrying a firearm.  Read more

Kids, teens wrestle with crime impacts, STD figures at Great Hall

By 
Martine Louis
Oct. 24, 2007

"Snitching." Reporting crime to the police. To many youth in Boston, it is the ultimate "no-no." Fearing getting hurt or killed themselves, young men and women in Boston have increasingly opted to keep silent, according to a health status report from the Boston Public Health Commission.

"We are dying out here! Someone has to do something!" one woman cried out from a large audience at Codman Square's Great Hall, where the report was delivered to the public on Monday.  Read more

Firefighter endures game show hot seat, dignity intact

By 
Pat Irish
Oct. 24, 2007

If there is anyone most qualified to endure the famed "hot seat" from television's hit show "Who Wants to be a Millionaire," it's local firefighter Kevin Meehan. For the past four years, Meehan, 42, has worked with Engine #7, the oldest fire company in the United States. He is used to pressure. Whether working the pump or driving the fire engine, Meehan is well acquainted with the perspiration that accompanies tight situations.  Read more

Boy, 13, shot dead near his home; not seen as target

Steven Odom, 13, was just steps from his Evans Street door last Thursday evening when he was gunned down, shot in the head by an unknown assailant. Within minutes, he was pronounced dead at Boston Medical Center, making the middle school student the 52nd homicide victim of the year.

Boston Police said this week that they do not believe Odom was the intended target of the shooting.

"The information right now suggests that he was struck accidentally by somebody who was firing at someone else," said Elaine Driscoll, a spokesperson for the BPD.  Read more

Steady stream of domestic cases tries Dot courthouse

A teen accused of beating his girlfriend over a period of six hours. A nephew charged with allegedly throwing a window fan at his uncle. Another man stood accused of coming at his girlfriend with a machete.

These are just a few of the domestic violence cases that have crossed before a judge in Dorchester District Court's first floor courtroom recently. At one time they would have gone to a courtroom on the second floor, specifically set aside for such cases. Now, they are lumped in with the rest of the previous nights' arrests.  Read more

Burglary on the rise in District C-11, murders down

Bring in your air conditioners, lock up your windows and keep an eye on the neighbors' place when they're away, said Captain John Greland of District C-11. Break-ins for the last two months are at a 3-year high in his district.

"Around 71 percent of them occur during the day," said Greland. "Most of the entry is through the side and the rear. They push in the A/C unit, they force the door or they force the window."  Read more