State and Local Police Prepare for Warm Weather at Revere Beach

By Adam Swift

State and local law enforcement officials are looking to avoid a repeat of the violent incidents that have marred the first days of warm weather at Revere Beach over the past several years.

Last year, state police closed Revere Beach on Memorial Day weekend following two separate shootings that sent three people to the hospital.

At Monday night’s city council meeting, Revere Police Chief David Callahan and Revere Beach State Police Barracks commander Lt. Donald Bossi gave an update on safety and security plans for the beach this summer.

“With temperature warming up, in past years we have seen some serious injuries and altercations down there, and I don’t think anyone wants to see a repeat performance of what happened last year,” said Councillor-at-Large Michelle Kelley, who requested the update along with Councillor-at-Large Marc Silvestri.

Callahan noted that the beach itself is DCR property and is patrolled mainly by the state police. However, the chief said the local police assists the state police when it can, and that he is in constant contact with Bossi about keeping the beach safe.

Callahan added that there will be a meeting soon with state and local law enforcement officials, as well as transportation police and local state legislators, to make sure everyone is on the same page before the warm weather hits.

“We always try to have some kind of plan in place, but it’s challenging because a lot of it goes on the weather a lot of the time,” said Callahan. “The state police get extra funding for directed patrols down at Revere Beach. We haven’t forgotten about what happened last year; it was awful and they did have patrols down there but it seemed like it got overwhelmed pretty quick.”

The police chief noted that while no plan is perfect, that local law enforcement is working closely with its partners to prevent further incidents. Callahan added that Bossi has been very responsive to concerns and easy to work with.

Bossi said that one of the issues the Revere barracks, as well as other state police barracks, deals with is staffing. He said his barracks typically has one desk officer and two patrols for the beach, as well as parks and DCR areas in Lynn and Chelsea and a portion of Rte. 1.

“That is a lot of area to cover with two people,” said Bossi.

There is state funding for additional dedicated patrols, as well as one additional patrol in the summer for the evening shift. In addition, there is also a Community Action Team which helps patrol the beach in the summer.

The keys to patrolling Revere Beach include working with other law enforcement agencies, such as transit police, and having policies in place that make it easier for troopers from other barracks and regions to respond to major incidents.

Bossi said state and local law enforcement officials are also monitoring social media to help get a handle on when there could be an issue on the beach.

“The one thing, and I know that people don’t want to hear this, is that people do bad things,” said Bossi. “It is our job to stop them. We can’t read minds; we try to predict when things are going to happen and we try to have the resources in place.”

Bossi said the state police will be ready to respond quickly if there are any incidents on the beach and will work with local police and other agencies.

Silvestri said one of his biggest concerns is preventing large groups of youth and teenagers from other cities from traveling to Revere Beach to create problems.

Bossi said state police have worked with transit police to make sure the transit police contact them if they see anything suspicious.

“If they see large numbers, we hope they will give us a call,” said Bossi. “We do understand that kids are being kids, and we allow that within reason. The problem is when two or three towns have a skip day at once, and we try to monitor that.”

Ward 1 Councillor Joanne McKenna praised Bossi for his responsiveness to issues in the past, and noted that there have always been some issues at Revere Beach in the past, but that the violence has increased in recent years.

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