BOSTON - Tuesday, August 1, 2017 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Police Commissioner William B. Evans, the Boston Police Department (BPD) and Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley will host the second night of the 34th Annual National Night Out in Boston, celebrating and raising awareness of community policing throughout the City.
Thousands of communities across all fifty states participate in National Night Out, an annual community-building campaign that promotes collaboration between police officers and residents, making neighborhoods safer. The event provides an opportunity to meet members of law enforcement under positive circumstances, helping to build trust and understanding within Boston's communities year-round.
Mayor Walsh partners with local police districts across Boston to host block parties in neighborhoods and encourage residents to spend time getting to know their local law enforcement and each other. National Night Out, which kicked off last night and will continue tonight, features 12 neighborhood events with entertainment, food, beverages and award presentations such as Crimewatch Group of the Year and a Crimefighter of the Year.
"Even though overall violent crime is down in our city, violence is still a reality for too many residents. Of all the things that are challenging about my job, that is what keeps me up at night," said Mayor Walsh. "If a single one of our neighbors feels unsafe, that is unacceptable. National Night Out is another great opportunity we have to bring neighbors and our local police together with a shared goal of stopping the violence and saving lives. We need everyone's involvement to create safe neighborhoods and I'd like to thank those who work to create the strong community we have here in Boston."
Since 2014, Mayor Walsh and the Boston Police Department have made significant progress on both reducing crime and implementing initiatives to bolster community relations. Overall, violent crime is down by 7 percent, property crime has been reduced by 21 percent, and general Part One crime has decreased by 18 percent since that time. The Boston Police Department has taken over a thousand guns off the streets and reduced arrests by 36 percent, highlighting their commitment to engage with communities. Due to BPD's community-driven training, complaints against officers have drastically reduced: from 2013 to 2016, complaints against officers declined from 361 to 199, while excessive force complaints have fallen from 40 to 8.
"The Boston Police Department prides itself on not only keeping our neighborhoods safe, but our work to get out in the community, build trust, work with our youth, and establish partnerships," said Commissioner Evans. "It's amazing what burgers and a conversation between a resident and police officer can do. These positive relationships with our residents are critical to reducing violence on the streets, and one of the best parts of our job is coming to events like National Night Out and connecting with our communities and neighbors."
"Having the Police Commissioner, Mayor, and District Attorney speak to our neighborhood was wonderful--they really encourage all of us to work together towards ending violence," said Sister Nancy Braceland of Sisters of St. Joseph's, and recipient of the Community Service Award last night in Roslindale. "Community relations building between police and neighborhoods is so important because nobody can take this on alone. When BPD and residents started working together in Roslindale, we saw definite changes in our neighborhood."
To learn more about National Night Out and the work of the City and the Boston Police Department in city neighborhoods, read Mayor Walsh's latest Medium post here
To learn more about some of the Boston Police Department's community-relations work and partnerships, click here