Opinion » Letters

Safety means community and police working together

Thursday Jan 19, 2017

Lately there has been lots of news in our neighborhood about senseless violence and killings that are reportedly gang connected. Such violence on a repeated time table makes us feel uncomfortable. We want to feel safe here in East Boston as everyone across this city wants to feel safe in their communities.

How can we make our city a livable place? It starts on every block in every neighborhood. It starts with neighbors getting to know each other like in the old days of my youth.Today we live as strangers. The less we know the better. It goes on and on today.

As a retired police officer for over 28 years, I started doing community policing before I even knew of the concept. I can also remember when I heard of Billy Bratton talk about his "Broken Window' strategy.

Little issues grow into big issues if left unnoticed. Just like a cancer which metastasizes and takes the life out of you, crime can do the same thing.

People can't just live in a neighborhood, they must be part of the neighborhood. A community isn't just buildings, it is its inhabitants. Al of us make up our neighborhood, the young and old, old timers and new immigrants. All of us. We may not understand each other when we speak but we must be aware that we all share the same space in the community. Better together means growing together and working together.

There's an old hit song I heard recently by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, "Inner-City Blues" and how it "makes me wanna holler." Too many people aren't hollering today when things go bad.

All of us need to trust our police officers who are here to serve and protect us. Together, we can make East Boston better and safer because real community policing takes two, the community and the police.

Sergeant Sal Giarratani (ret)
Metro Boston Area DMH Police