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Dan Rizzo on Public Saftey and Community Policing

A Committed Leader on Crime Prevention

As Mayor, my absolute first and top priority will be to ensure the safety and security of all Revere residents.

I have the same concerns regarding crime and crime prevention as most of you. My family, home, friends, and business are all in Revere. Having a business located directly on Broadway, our central business district gives me the opportunity to see each and every day how crime can impact our city., Revere, has always been and continues to be a destination city, largely in part to our beautiful beachfront, and access to public transportation. These wonderful attributes that we value as a community are also factors that encourage large numbers of people from across the state of Massachusetts to visit our city on a regular basis. This obviously spikes our population during peak times and seasons and makes us cognizant of the fact that we have to work to protect what we have worked so hard to build in order to ensure our community’s continued safety. One way to do this is by implementation of a Neighborhood Advisory Council. This program will increase communication between the Police Department and our residents so that law enforcement understands what our problems and what the real concerns of our residents are.

I know it sounds rhetorical, but the reality is, that with tough economic times upon us, our Police Department is constantly being asked to do more with less. We need strong leadership that has creative solutions to the budgetary and structural problems facing our city. Our Police Department continues to be one of the busiest departments in the state. We know that drug and gang related crimes are the crux of our problems and because of this, it is imperative that we not only have strong leadership, but a commitment to education and training for both our Superior and rank and file officers. They need to have all the tools necessary to combat today’s more educated and in some cases, more violent criminals. We must be proactive, not reactive.


Allocation of Resources

As Mayor, I must ensure that the Revere Police Department receives all the funding and infrastructural support necessary to keep our community safe. Drugs and Gang related crimes account for more than half of the criminal activity in our community. It is a disservice to our public safety officials who do not receive the proper support to do their jobs effectively. We must be vigilant in identifying grants and other avenues of funding through State and Federal authorities if we are to expect positive results from our dedicated contingent of officers. We must also be committed to rebuilding our Police Department to a level of staffing consistent with the population levels we currently serve.

Regional Collaboration

As we local into the realization that regionalization of services is going to be inevitable, it is important that we support the efforts of our neighbors in Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Saugus, and Winthrop. During my tenure as Mayor, Revere will work closely with these neighbors to create a strategic working group designed to provide our communities with the most comprehensive, effective, and well-organized public safety services available. We know violent crime in Revere is often tied to regionalized gang or drug-related criminal activity and by drawing on and contributing to this regional partnership’s collective knowledge and resources, we can establish a strong, collaborative working network to root out criminal activity within our communities.

Currently, each month, our department’s officers participate in a North Shore Gang Meeting that brings together over 42 State, Local, and Federal law enforcement authorities. These meetings are a joint operation led by the Essex and Suffolk County District Attorney’s offices, along with the Attorney General’s office. These meetings help better coordinate information and tactics on a regional basis in order to protect our city. We must continue collaborative efforts in order to better understand and solve the crime issues we are facing. Our issues are not insular, and more knowledge about the surrounding district will better help our policing efforts.


Technology

We must invest in technology and innovative police tools such as remotely monitored surveillance cameras and computerized traffic monitors. We should also look into creating an Auto Theft Alert System. Vehicle owners would register their vehicle at Police Headquarters and indicate when their car is generally not in use. Once that is done, a decal is issued that is to be placed on the backs of the vehicle(s). After that, Any vehicles spotted on the road between the hours of 1AM and 5AM and displaying this decal could be stopped by for any reason by virtue of a waiver signed at the time of signing up for this service. (Source:www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/html/crime)


Community Policing

One of the most efficient ways to control our city’s crime rate is to discourage youth crime and gang activity before it begins. Recognizing that truancy is a higher indicator of gang involvement, I successfully created a city ordinance that discourages truancy and enables the Revere Police Department to better identify and curtail gang member activity. We must continue with these types of efforts and initiatives.

Also, by combining the resources of our police force with residents’ talents and intimate knowledge of their own neighborhoods, we can reduce the strain on police resources, eliminate potential public safety hazards, and enhance overall quality of life. As Mayor, I will renew Community Policing efforts through two main programs, one of which I mentioned earlier, the Neighborhood Advisory Council, and a Revere Youth Police Camp. Both would be designed to facilitate an active partnership between Revere residents and the Police.


Neighborhood Advisory Council

The Revere Neighborhood Advisory Council would consist of eight members in total, with six coming from each Ward, and two at large members, who would work directly with the Police Department, in a volunteer capacity, to encourage better communication between the citizens of Revere and the Police. The community, in an open meeting, would appoint members, whose term would run six months. Meetings would be held monthly with schedules published on the city website or by calling a newly established 3-1-1 number with city information.

Neighbor Advisory Meetings would be a chance for police, and community residents, to trade information about circumstances in the neighborhood, to identify problems, and to grow strategies to eliminate those particular issues. These meetings would also provide an opportunity for the community and the Police to build relationships. Residents, other stakeholders, and Police, would discuss chronic problems using the CAPS five-step problem-solving system, which has been successful across the country in many other police departments utilizing community policing. CAP’s five steps are; 1: Identify and Prioritize the Problem, 2: Analyze the Problem, 3: Design Strategies, 4: Implement Strategies, 5: Evaluate and Acknowledge Success. (Source: https://portal.chicagopolice.org)


Educating Our Youth

Revere Public School’s varied course offerings and well-managed advanced placement programs are the crowning jewels of our Public School System. They have earned national acclaim from various institutions including the College Board. It is critical that we bring our Public Schools and our Police Department together. One avenue that I will propose will be called the “Revere Youth Police Program”. This camp would replicate community-policing models already in existence across the county. The program would encompass two (2), one week long camps targeting children ages 10-15 years of age. It is very important to reach our children as early as possible.

The camp would teach young people about building character, developing leadership skills, and advancing a desire to perform community service. Campers would participate in classroom, and daily sports activities with officers from within the department.

(Source(s): www.dallaspolice.net, www.phillypolice.com)

Beyond working with our children for two weeks during the summer, we need to expand after school programs, bring in grants to increase and expand our Summer Job Youth Program, and reinvigorate the DARE program. Our young people need constructive activities after school and during the summer. They also need to be taught at a young age the effects and consequences of drug use.

With the help of Revere’s citizens, our police officers can focus not only on responding to crime when it happens, but on preventing and discouraging public safety threats before they emerge.

Community policing will allow the city to bring community resources together, identify resident’s primary safety concerns, educate the public about crime prevention strategies, and develop innovative solutions to our more pressing public safety threats.

As your Mayor public safety will be my number one concern. In order to continue to make Revere a great city to live, work, and raise a family in, we need to protect what we have and ensure every resident has the quality of life we’ve all come to expect and deserve.

Dan Rizzo Article from Emmanuel College

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