Some 50 residents from across Roslindale met last night with local police and elected officials to figure out how to keep Roslindale's crime rate low.
The meeting was organized after two women were robbed near the Roslindale Village train station last month.
State Rep. Liz Malia (D-Jamaica Plain) said now is the time to organize neighborhood watches because of an epidemic of opiate addiction. "It's almost out of control," and worse than most people have ever seen, she told some 50 residents at the Community Center. Already, one Cornauba Road Extension resident said she has seen kids as young as 10 dealing drugs from her house. "I just stand there and watch them" until they leave, she said, adding she worries about the day they refuse to move and instead confront her. Police officers at the meeting urged her to call 911 - especially if she's seeing little kids who should be in school.
Ed Roach, a community service officer at E-5, said major crime in Roslindale is actualy down 21% over the past three years - and larceny is down 45%. He said the rates would be even lower if residents remembered to keep their house and car doors locked - and to not store valuables in plain site in their cars.
They expressed concern about the comments in this Universal Hub discussion about the small memorial friends assembled on Rowe Street.
City Councilor Tim McCarthy (Hyde Park, Roslindale, Mattapan) said he would work with the family on a dignified plan for ending the memorial that would involve a small ceremony with the family's clergy member and police, in which the family would take with them items they want to keep. "We like to do it as delicately as possible," he said.
Residents said the CVS/Burger King parking lot on Washington Street was a major drug-dealing area - and that when police crack down there, the dealers just move across Washington to Liszt Street. One Liszt resident said she keeps paper near her door to take down the license plates of cars whose occupants seem to be engaging in drug transactions.
Capt. Joseph Gillespie of E-5 acknowledged the problem - he said Washington Street from about the Burger King down to Grove Street seems to attract drug dealers and buyers from as far away as Providence. He added E-5 is paying special attention to the corridor and has made a number of arrests there - and urged residents to keep an eye out and report anything suspicious to 911.
That's what residents on Conway Street did last month when they heard a woman screaming. But they did more than that - they ran outside. One stayed with the mugging victim until police arrived - and the other chased the suspect - ultimately caught by police - even though he had no shoes on. The woman attended the meeting and said their actions and the kindness from police really made her appreciate the neighborhood. "I was just so proud to live in Roslindale that night," she said.
Residents said warmer weather has meant an increase in drinking parties on Peters and Hemlock hills in the Arboretum - and an increase in the broken glass and trash people find on their morning walks there.
Gillespie pledged to try to crack down, but said combating drinking in the Arboretum has unique risks: Police are reluctant to chase after soused after-hours visitors for fear they might run off a hillside in the dark and die. He said a few years ago, somebody being chased by police did fall off a cliff, but fortunately only suffered a broken leg.
Also an issue: Two homeless guys who spend a lot of time in Roslindale Square, one of them making inappropriate comments to young girls. Gillespie said police have tried to get them into programs out of the neighborhood, but that so far, they keep returning to Roslindale after doing their time.
Residents also complained about speeding. One Florence Street resident said her street "continues to be a speedway." Gillespie acknowledged speeding is a major issue in the neighborhood. Malia said she has been trying for years to get legislation to let Boston lower speed limits on smaller neighborhood roads. The problem, she said, is that legislators from rural areas don't want to meddle with speed limits.
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