The City Council agreed today to a hearing to press for action to keep BTD and other city workers safe on the streets following a Friday attack in Grove Hall that sent a BTD supervisor - just months from retirement - to the hospital with serious injuries.
City Councilor Erin Murphy (at large) said the supervisor remains in the hospital after undergoing surgery to try to repair "the severe trauma" she said was done to his face. Police arrested a suspect - who dropped his state ID at the scene - not long after the attack; he was ordered held in lieu of $500 bail. Murphy said the attack was one of two against BTD workers in just the past week.
Murphy was joined in the request for a hearing by Councilor Ed Flynn (South Boston, South End, Chinatown, Downtown), who said he is outraged by the way BTD workers are treated, in particular its traffic enforcement officers.
"They're harassed all day long by the public," Flynn said. "They're verbally assaulted, they're physically assaulted, they're disrespected every day. It impacts them, it impacts their family, it's a job that doesn't get the respect it deserves, but they're doing their best on behalf of the citizens of Boston. ... The disrespect continues to grow and we need to stand with these city workers. They don't make a lot of money, they don't have influence, they don't get the respect, but they're our neighbors, they're active in our community, they're Little League coaches, they're helping seniors with meals."
He added a lot of traffic enforcement workers are women, and "they are getting beaten up by the public because someone got a ticket."
Flynn said people who get back to their cars 15 minutes late to find a ticket shouldn't take it out on a BTD worker: "Prepare your schedule better."
Council President Ruthzee Louijeune (at large) assigned the scheduling and holding of the hearing to the council's committee on city services and innovation technology.
Watch the discussion (and side discussion about whether the matter should have been brought up today as a "late filed matter" rather than next week):