With shootings and gun arrests rising in Boston’s toughest neighborhoods, law enforcement officials met yesterday with members from 17 of the city’s gangs, an unusual move meant to prevent bloodshed and put criminals on notice as summer approaches, reports the Boston Globe. During the 90-minute meeting, federal and county prosecutors warned nearly 50 purported gang members that they could face lengthy sentences in federal prison if they continued on a path of violence. Religious leaders spoke of the trauma that violence can inflict on a community and families. A mother told of the pain of losing her son to street violence.
“We wanted to make sure the message  was getting across the city that if you are involved in guns and violence, we’ll pull all the levers available to us,” Boston Police Superintendent Daniel Linskey, who spoke at the meeting, said. The meeting, organized by the state probation department, was rare because of the risks in bringing together so many different groups. Officials reviewed intelligence reports to make sure that none of the gangs at the meeting were currently fighting with each other. The warnings of long federal sentences were reminiscent of the tactics used successfully in the late 1990s as part of the Boston Miracle, when the city gained national attention for dramatically reducing homicides.