The City of Boston has lowered its non-public safety presence within the Mass and Cass zone, citing statistics that present fewer squatters within the drug-infested space.
The Boston Public Health Commission’s contract with Ware Security Consultants ended on Jan. 15, roughly two-and-a-half months after the town started implementing a mayoral ordinance that banned encampments, cracked down on crime, and tasked outreach staff with connecting homeless people with different shelter.
“No one is declaring victory on the opiate crisis or homelessness or mental health,” Mayor Michelle Wu mentioned Wednesday on a Java with Jimmy podcast. “We know part of this is the winter.”
Wu touted her administration’s efforts on clearing out the troubled space, nevertheless, stating that dozens of individuals and encampments had been nonetheless seen on Atkinson Street final winter, when her plan, carried out this previous Nov. 1, was not in place.
Ware Security was paid greater than $3.07 million in the course of the course of that settlement, which began on Nov. 10, 2021 and was amended final July, when the contract was elevated by greater than $1 million and prolonged by way of Dec. 31.
The extension occurred across the similar time the mayor famous that the world had reached a “new level of public safety alarm,” main outreach staff to drag their groups out as a result of enhanced hazard. At that point, roughly 200 folks had been seen there every day, partaking in drug and human trafficking and committing violence.
Ware was tasked with offering armed safety, with at the very least six safety guards from the 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 4 p.m. to midnight shifts, and eight officers in a single day from midnight to eight a.m. The contract, which included providers on the males’s shelter at 112 Southampton St., was prolonged once more to, and ended on Jan. 15.
Michael Ware, the agency’s proprietor, confirmed that his firm was searching for different initiatives.
“The Boston Police Department maintains a presence on Atkinson Street and in the surrounding area,” a Boston Public Health Commission spokesperson mentioned in an announcement, including that campus safety operated by the BPHC ensures safety of all city-owned properties and the parking zone.
BPHC is continuous to contract with New England Security round a few of its shelters and different programmatic websites, the spokesperson mentioned, however the price of these providers weren’t supplied previous to the Herald’s deadline.
When requested why safety was decreased within the Mass and Cass zone, the BPHC pointed to the Mass/Cass dashboard, which reveals that “the average daily count of people in the area has decreased significantly.”
“Through successful coordination with several city departments, police and community partners, we have been able to address public safety concerns on Atkinson Street,” the BPHC spokesperson, Pai En Yu, mentioned.
City Councilor Ed Flynn mentioned, nevertheless, that he stays involved in regards to the drug exercise happening there, and referred to as for extra of a police presence, which has waned within the months because the encampment ban was carried out.
Flynn mentioned he held separate conferences this week with residents of the close by Mary Ellen McCormack public housing process power and Andrew Square, the place high quality of life points together with drug exercise had been mentioned.
“I still see a lot of drug activity taking place in and around Mass and Cass and at Andrew Square,” Flynn instructed the Herald. “I’m concerned about it.”