Mayor Menino acts now for safer summer
Crime prevention, putting youths to work are top priorities
By Andrew Ryan | GLOBE STAFF MAY 16, 2012
Mayor Thomas M. Menino is expected to outline a preemptive push to stanch summertime violence Wednesday, seeking to stop crime now with the hope of preventing retaliation in July and August.
The effort, which has been the subject of City Hall meetings for the past two months, will incorporate police, public health officials, the School Department, and youth workers. It will include police detectives walking beats in high-crime areas, an initiative to provide summer jobs for young adults over 19, and coordination with prison officials to visit inmates slated for release.
Summertime violence is an age-old problem for urban areas after school ends. Thousands of young people face unstructured days and idle time that can often lead to trouble.
“It’s what any parent of a 14-year-old faces every summer: How are we going to fill up this time?’’ said Jeffrey Butts, director of the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. “It makes sense to have multiple approaches because there is no single answer.’’