The Adams Village Merchants Association joined with two civic groups last Friday to honor the Drug Control Unit from the Area C-11 Boston Police and a local businessman who they say have effectively teamed up to crack down on drug dealing in the neighborhood. Jeff Brewster, who became the franchise owner of the McDonaldâ€™s on Gallivan Boulevard last December, was praised alongside the seven-officer drug unit during an evening awards ceremony inside the Transformations health club in the village. About 75 people turned out to support the event, which was followed by a reception.
Each officer from the unit was honored individually (their names and photos are being omitted because of the sensitive nature of their work).
Merchant leaders credit the BPDâ€™s surveillance unit and Brewster with collaborating to discourage drug buys in the fast-food restaurantâ€™s parking lot, which has long been a favored meet-up point because of its proximity to the Southeast Expressway, according to police. Security cameras installed on Brewsterâ€™s watch, which are displayed on a large screen inside the restaurant during nighttime hours, have helped send a message that â€œthis is a community that cares.â€
â€œMost of it has no reflection on the McDonaldâ€™s or the community,â€ said Captain Richard Sexton, commander at Area C-11, of the history of drug traffic at the Granite Ave. and Gallivan location. â€œItâ€™s just a convenient place for folks to meet coming off the highway to do their drug deals.â€
City Councillor Maureen Feeney said that scores of arrests have been made in the parking lot over the years. She praised Brewster and the police for putting a dent in the volume of drug transactions in recent months.
â€œThe work that has been done, not just making the arrest, but making the good arrest and doing the due diligence,â€ Feeney said. â€œItâ€™s one thing to make an arrest, itâ€™s another thing to get the conviction.â€
According to Adams Village Merchants Association leader Marty Lydon, the drug control unit on C-11 has made â€œover 116 arrestsâ€ so far in 2009, resulting in the seizure of 11 firearms.
Sean Weir, president of the Cedar Grove Civic Association, lives on a side street that abuts McDonaldâ€™s. â€œI live on Myrtlebank. Thereâ€™s 25 kids running around that street every single day. Itâ€™s great to know theyâ€™re safe and you donâ€™t have to worry about anything going on and that these guys have got it. Thanks, Jeff, for all youâ€™ve done over there to make things so much nicer. Itâ€™s not just these guys, itâ€™s all of the guys up at Station 11.â€
Sgt. Al Terestre, who leads the drug unit, said that the recognition from the merchants and leaders from the Cedar Grove Civic Association and the Ashmont-Adams Neighborhood Association was gratifying for his team.
â€œMost of these guys come from Dorchester to begin with,â€ said Terestre. â€œThey do it day in and day out.â€