Under pressure to respond to a surge of violence in Boston, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick announced anticrime measures yesterday that included a statewide anticrime council and new restrictions on gun purchases but only $900,000 in immediate funding for the city, reports the Boston Globe. The money will allow the city to accelerate the hiring of 60 police officers, putting them on the streets in July, rather than early next year, as originally planned. The governor would boost the city’s grant for summer jobs by $350,000, to $2.25 million, an 18 percent increase.
Patrick said the plan is “not just about spending more money; it’s about spending money smartly.” While many community activists applauded the action, others said it would do little to stem the tide of violence in Boston, where there have been 16 homicides this year, six more than during the same period last year when the city’s homicide rate hit a 10-year high.