As Boston buried two young men felled by gunfire, Mayor Thomas Menino told the Boston Herald he is “frustrated” by the city’s relentless shootings and vowed to “change everything” about the way his administration deals with youth violence. “I'm re-evaluating everything I have, a total overhaul of all my programs. I'm demanding more of my people. Every person who is involved with youth in my administration has to produce more,” an angry Menino said yesterday. “This is not cowboy city, we are not going to let this city be taken over,” he said.
There have been 66 homicides so far this year, the highest toll since 69 in 2001. Of those killed so far this year, 20 were teenagers. “Right now I am concentrating on the youth. They look inside themselves and see no hope. What they see is violence,” Menino said. Among the mayor's plans: Creation of the “Bystander Program,” an anonymous tip line aimed at teens to report anyone carrying a gun; tevitalization of a reorganized gun buyback program that would encourage people to turn in illegal weapons to police; hiring more street workers to work with teens directly; creating a more unified front with community groups.