Local officials representing the North End / Waterfront met Thursday morning at City Hall with Boston and State Police regarding stepped up measures to maintain order in the neighborhood during the upcoming feast weekends. This summer has seen a dramatic increase in suburban teenagers gathering by the hundreds and causing havoc, especially on Commercial Street (video), Langone Park, Sargent’s Wharf, Christopher Columbus Park and all along the North End waterfront.
Attending were Boston Police Captain Kenneth Fong and other police representatives, District 1 City Councilor Sal LaMattina, Third Suffolk District State Representative Aaron Michlewitz, Office of Neighborhood Services liaison Maria Lanza and representatives from the Mayor Martin Walsh’s office, along with State Senator Joseph Boncore and Officer Teddy Boyle.
Councilor Sal LaMattina said “we are all over this” in a phone conversation, citing the need for more security measures with the many high profile events in downtown Boston. He said residents and visitors will see a noticeable boost in police presence at the feasts and surrounding park areas. The State Police will also be specifically at the Steriti Skating Rink (a Mass. DCR facility) and the ball field lights will be on as a deterrent to gatherings in dark park areas.
The weekend of August 17-20 is the Fisherman’s Feast in Boston’s North End (Fleet & North Streets) followed next week by St. Anthony’s Feast (Endicott, Thacher, N. Margin Streets) starting August 24th. Also this weekend, rallies and protests are scheduled at Boston Common along with the Caribbean Festival at City Hall Plaza and Eastie Pride Day in East Boston.
Personally attending the feasts at various times will be Mayor Walsh, Councilor LaMattina, Rep. Michlewitz and Sen. Boncore. Boston Police Capt. Fong issued a statement earlier in the week that police presence will be stepped up and warning that unruly behavior, fighting and underage drinking will not be tolerated. The Captain said he would personally be directing police actions on the ground. Residents are encouraged to report any public safety issues to 911 where they can be dispatched to on-site officers.