The Friends has been concerned for some time about the safety of the public on Boston Common. There have been several frightening incidents recently, in a heavily used park that is consistently plagued with a host of quality of life crimes which can sometimes break out into violent crime. Such was the case with the shooting that occurred on September 12, 2017 and the stabbing of July 26, 2017. Drug use and dealing are all too common an occurrence, and these behaviors can spill over into the Public Garden as well.

To discuss the issue Board Chair Leslie Adam, Executive Director Liz Vizza, and Common Committee Chair Beatrice Nessen met with Commissioner William Evans, Captain Ken Fong, and others from the Boston Police Department to thank the police for their rapid response to the shooting and for the increased police presence on the Common over the summer and fall. They advocated for continued efforts by the police to disrupt the ongoing drug and gang-related activity on the Common, and discussed enforcement issues and strategies.

The Friends will continue to work with the police as well as adjacent neighborhood organizations and District Councilor Josh Zakim to tackle an issue that impacts neighbors, tourists, students, and park maintenance personnel. Our parks need to be safe havens and welcoming spaces. All are welcome in them. All behaviors should not be tolerated.