Boston police will markedly increase around-the-clock surveillance of dozens of hard-core criminals on the city’s streets to help forestall what officials and community leaders fear will be a particularly bloody summer, reports the Boston Globe. The tracking, known inside the department as ”A Day in the Life,” calls for monitoring the criminals who police believe are largely responsible for the alarming increase in gun violence. The goal is to catch them in the act if they commit crimes and to gather intelligence. While the gang and special investigations units have sporadically used close surveillance of suspects, the new initiative will involve officers in several of the city’s highest-crime districts tracking up to 10 of the most dangerous criminals in each area. It is unclear how the department plans to pay for the initiative.
Police and community leaders fear that summer will only worsen the surge in violence that has nearly doubled the number of shootings so far this year. The city is on pace to match last year’s 10-year high in homicides, with 21 by yesterday. The summer months are typically the most violent time of the year because more people are in the streets, making them more likely to encounter enemies and cause trouble. Over the past three years, more than a third of each year’s shootings occurred in June, July, and August. Twenty-five of last year’s 75 homicides were committed in those three months.