Mayor Janey announces 2021 Summer Safety Plan
BOSTON - Friday, May 28, 2021 - Mayor Kim Janey, the Office of Health and Human Services and Public Safety, and the Boston Police Department yesterday announced the City of Boston’s 2021 Summer Safety Plan. The plan is guided by the public health lens of prevention, intervention, response and recovery initiatives. To prevent violence, the City will direct activities, programs and policies on constructive engagement. For intervention, Boston will employ strategies for behavioral change or improve specific outcomes for specific communities. The City will respond to violence by mitigating community impact and meeting the immediate needs of victims and families. The recovery from violence will ensure ongoing and long-term support for individuals, neighborhoods, and communities as a whole.
The strategies in the Summer Safety Plan represent the work that City departments are currently participating in, while also highlighting the existing gaps in services and funding within Boston’s current reality in the neighborhoods. The City of Boston, in partnership with community-based organizations, is working to address the social determinants of violence, while being intentional about creating pathways to opportunities for all Boston residents.
“As our city recovers from the pandemic, we will strive to make this summer a season of safety and healing. Working together, across departments, we will apply a racial justice lens as we address violence and promote peace using a public health framework of prevention, intervention, response, and recovery,” said Mayor Janey. “I’d like to thank our City departments, community partners, and Boston residents for supporting our comprehensive 2021 Summer Safety Plan to address and prevent violence.”
The Violence Prevention Plan is guided by five goals:
1. Scale up prosocial activities, mentoring programs, and employment opportunities to engage more youth
Summer creates the need for greater engagement in prevention programming outside of the classroom.
2. Strengthen intervention efforts and suppression of crime in hotspots across the city.
Intelligence-driven deployment, targeted engagement with gang-involved young people, and intervention-based services, are particularly important during the summer months.
3. Ensure neighborhoods are supported and connected to resources to help them respond and recover from incidents of violence.
The summer presents a greater need to proactively connect community members to trauma services and other community health initiatives.
4. Expand intentional outreach and engagement for specific populations.
Summer requires a focus on youth and young adults engaged in the criminal justice system, proven-risk young people, and underserved groups like girls and those 25-35.
5. Promote positive activities and community engagement in public spaces.
Summer gives us the opportunity to bring communities together in parks, playgrounds, and other open spaces to build neighborhood cohesion.
To accomplish this, the cross-departmental group will focus on alignment and coordination to connect efforts across City-funded work and community-invested programming, seeking to bring activities to young people. This includes identifying gaps and working to create the needed additional supports and resources. The coordination ensures ongoing, consistent effort to connect the City’s strategy with needs and resources. The entire strategy is conducted through a justice lens, with an intentional focus on the needs of those most impacted by violence in the community and the social inequities and systemic racism that creates such an environment.
In addition to the collaborative efforts led by city departments, Boston is also partnering with community-based organizations by providing grants through the Youth Development Fund. Building on previously-announced $885,000 awarded to organizations, an additional $100,000 in grants will be available to nonprofits to bolster summer programming and efforts targeting violence prevention.