In court yesterday attorney Sweeney from the City Law Department admitted to the judge that the City is not even close to having 2500 officers as required by the City Ordinance. However, the City reiterated its claim that the Ordinance is not valid because adding police officers would be a reorganization of the department and only the Mayor can do that. They also again alledge that 12 citizens of Boston do not have standing to ask their government to enforce the law. The next hearing got moved up to December 19, 2006.
So today I decided to call up Councilor Steve Murphy's office. He is the chair of the Public Safety Committee and is usually known to be knowledgeable about police and safety issues. I wanted to ask him to introduce a bill to clear this confusion up. If a citizen goes on the City website they will see an ordinance to have 2500 police officers on the street. But if the City's position is that this ordinance is not valid, they should wipe it from the books. I thought Councilor Murphy would be the appropriate person to do so.
When I called his office I had surreal conversation around 10 a.m. with his receptionist as follows:
Recep: Councilor Murhpy's office.
KM: Kevin McCrea for Councilor Murphy.
Recep: He is not in right now, I can take a message. Are you the guy who ran last year?
KM: Yes, I am. I just don't assume that everyone knows who I am.
Recep: (Takes my phone number and asks:) Can I leave him a message?
KM: Yes I was calling about the ordinance to require more police officers.
Recep: Oh, wouldn't that be great.
KM: Yes, it would.
Recep: I live in Allston and you can't get a 911 call answered. We don't even bother
calling 911 anymore if there is an emergency.
KM: Really, I didn't realize it was so bad in Allston. One of my friends had her 13 year old
daughter beaten up in Dorchester by 3 kids on Halloween night and it took 911 five
hours to respond.
Recep: Someone needs to do something
KM: I agree. Thanks for your time and please have Councilor Murphy call me.
I couldn't believe it. The receptionist in the Public Safety Committee chairs office is telling me that we can't rely on 911 service in this City. Astounding.
Hope Steve calls me back. I agree with his office employee, someone needs to do something.