Increased Weekend Patrols Will Monitor Parties in Allston
Arrest now the preferred policy for Boston Police
Boston Police will double their weekend party patrols in the GAP area of Allston (Gardner, Ashford, and Pratt streets) following the stabbing death of an Allston man at a New Year’s Eve bash.
Sergeant Michael O’Hara of the Boston Police says the patrols are instructed to arrest those violating alcohol and other laws, in lieu of the lesser penalties like summonses that had been preferred until now.
“We now have one party car on weekends. We’re going to double that—two cars, four officers, and a supervisor—for the next four or five weekends,” he says. After that, the department will resume its one-car patrol, aided by Boston University Police Department officers. The patrols will run Thursday through Saturday from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. The heightened patrols will also operate during those hours this Sunday in anticipation of parties connected to the American Football Conference championship game, which pits the Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens. BUPD Captain Robert Molloy says University police will also add two more patrols to the area and to West Campus. The additional patrols will be in place from Thursday through Saturday from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m.
New England Institute of Art student Anthony Spaulding died New Year’s Day after a brawl in his apartment. His alleged killer has been charged with Boston’s first murder of 2013.
While the stabbing prompted the heightened patrols, says O’Hara, raucous parties have been a problem for years; the area was plagued with car arsons in 2011 and last fall with assaults on women. An unknown assailant reportedly knocked down the victims, hiked their skirts or yanked down their pants, and photographed them.
The crackdown on alcohol-related violations and parties is also the goal of the University’s two-year-old enforcement plan, which sends extra patrols by Boston, Brookline, and BU Police into known party neighborhoods. The police disperse parties and cite or arrest law-breakers. O’Hara says police occasionally have invoked an ordinance passed in 2011 that allows them to arrest landlords and student tenants at so-called problem properties—apartments with a record of alcohol violations. Enforcement statistics were published last semester on BU Today.
Last fall, hospital runs for seriously drunk students plummeted, prompting cautious hope that the enforcement effort was paying off. Still, O’Hara says, Boston Police think rowdy behavior is still prevalent enough that “we’ve got to make a bigger impact. We’ve got to make arrests” as opposed to handing out summonses.
Boston Police are currently distributing a flyer in the GAP area announcing the new party patrols. Boston Police Captain Wayne Lanchester says he hopes the message will “reduce the number of house parties, reduce the number of underage youth roaming the streets, and eliminate illegal public drinking and the resulting violence.”36 Comments