Following yesterday's attack on a corrections officer outside the South Bay jail, BPD blocked off the Methadone Mile street where it happened as officers swept the street, making 18 arrests, in a raid that even had a code name. A street sweeper was called in to clear out all the trash - after a bucket of needles was collected.
This morning, Suffolk County Sheriff Steve Tompkins demanded an emergency meeting with Mayor Marty Walsh, Police Commissioner William Gross and Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins to figure out a more permanent solution:
I am calling for this meeting to happen without delay, because the situation outside of the House of Correction, within the Newmarket Square area and down Melnea Cass Boulevard has become untenable. The health and safety of our officers, staff and guests coming to the House of Correction is clearly in jeopardy, as is that of the other visitors to the area. In truth, it has been for some time.
Compare to what happened after a student at the Orchard Gardens School, just on the other side of Methadone Mile, was pricked by a needle while playing outside in the school yard - where addicts like to shoot up.
Parents organized a protest in which they briefly shut down Melnea Cass Boulevard.
No elected city officials showed up. After leaving the street, parents entered the school - which students had already left for the day - to continue the protest. A BPS official began yelling at them to vacate the school immediately, that they had no right to be there. Parents ignored him. The mayor's education aide, Rob Consalvo, who had watched the protest outside, then got into an argument with parents about whether the city was doing enough to protect the kids. One of the people he argued with was community activist Domingos DaRosa, who had, during the earlier part of the protest, led reporters on tours of the school playground and field looking for needles and other evidence of drug use - which they quickly found.