BOSTON (WHDH) - Local leaders are calling for the community to come together as several Boston neighborhoods are still reeling from a recent spike in violence, which includes six fatal shootings over the last seven days.
“This week six families are burying somebody. We can’t say to them, ‘well we’re safer than other cities,'” Mayor Marty Walsh said during a Friday press conference at a community center in Roxbury. “That doesn’t work. We need to go deeper.”
Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Boston police officers and a number of community leaders, Walsh made it clear that something must be done to bring an end to the deadly violence, which has accounted for 45 homicides in the city this year.
“You can’t arrest our way out of what’s happening in the city,” Walsh said. “We will arrest people that do bad things. What we’d like to do is get them the day before they do a bad thing to put them on a path to success.”
The shootings this week, which are said to be unrelated, have rocked Roxbury, Mattapan, and Dorchester. Some arrests have been made, while other cases remain unsolved.
Tina Cherry, who lost her son in a deadly shooting 25 years ago, has made it her life mission to help curb violence in the city.
“He got caught in the crossfire of a shooting on Geneva Avenue,” she said. “You really believe it will never happen to you until it happened to me.”
Decades later, Cherry says one problem still remains.
“I still think we’re still blaming,” she said.
Police Commissioner William Gross assured the community that his department is devoted to keeping the streets of Boston safe.
“We are committed to continuing to do our job, whether we get criticized or complained against, we are here,” he said. “We’re not going anywhere.”
It’s not about putting more officers on the streets but rather reaching out to problem teens and young adults before a crime is ever committed, according to Gross. He believes religious leaders, schools, and families must unite as one in order to make a difference.
“Please, for God’s sake, meet us halfway,” he said. “The onus isn’t solely on the police department. It is the village concept at hand.”
There were 42 homicides in Boston at this time in 2017.
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