Residents of a South Boston housing project angry about rampant crime vowed last night to take action themselves and demanded more from police to sweep out drugs and violence, reports the Boston Herald. The meeting came after several incidents in which innocent youths have been caught in the crossfire of violence or have witnessed brutal attacks. The Herald said a story it published Tuesday on the problems brought high-powered officials to hear the complaints of about 50 residents. They included Boston Police Commissioner Kathleen O’Toole, local politicians and representatives from the mayor’s office and the Boston Housing Authority.
Initial plans include a neighborhood watch and resident parking permits. Police encouraged residents to report the addresses where drug dealing occurs. Even when youths manage to dodge the violence in their neighborhoods, many still suffer from it as they witness fights, stabbings and even murders. Betsy McAlister Groves of the Child Witness to Violence Project at Boston Medical Center said, “Kids who are witnesses to violent crimes are really the hidden victims. Even though they are not injured, psychologically they are wounded. They shouldn’t struggle alone, they need to talk about it with their parents, pediatricians and school counselors.”