Letter to the Editor

Let’s put a halt to teacher layoffs

Dear Editor: 

Last week, I was proud to sign on to a petition in support of Whelan School teachers, particularly those who may have been targeted due to standing up for their collective bargaining rights. I also stand with other Revere educators who may be facing layoffs in the coming months due to the budget crisis, and call on the state to do more to ensure educators’ jobs are protected going into a fall semester where they will be more needed than ever.

Even amidst the COVID-19 crisis, billionaire families in Massachusetts have seen their fortunes increase as the markets recovered, even while the rest of us still struggle. While the biggest blame here falls on Mitch McConnell for preventing needed aid to the states, the Massachusetts Legislature can and should take steps to bring in the revenue needed to retain teachers, especially in cities like Revere where many youth are at-risk.

Joe Gravellese

Candidate for State Representative

Revere resident

Commitment for Change from Suffolk County law enforcement executives

Dear Editor,

On Thursday, June 18 at the invitation of Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins, a group of law enforcement executives from Greater Boston met together at the Parkman House on Beacon Hill to begin what will be a series of ongoing, open, honest and in-depth dialogues. All of our discussions will focus on the extremely important societal issues facing the country today involving the intersection of race, ethnicity, justice, and equality with the 21st Century community policing philosophy in existence in Suffolk County and across the Commonwealth.

The assembled group of criminal justice leaders included DA Rachael Rollins, First Assistant DA Daniel Mulhern, the Colonel of the Massachusetts State Police Superintendent Chris Mason, MBTA Transit Police Chief Kenneth Green and Police Chiefs from Suffolk County including current Revere Police Chief James Guido, newly named Revere Police Chief David Callahan, Winthrop Police Chief Terry Delehanty, Winthrop Police Deputy Chief John Goodwin, Chelsea Police Captain David Batchelor and Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes. Boston Police Commissioner William Gross was committed at another event but has indicated that he will be involved in all future discussions moving forward.

In the midst of intense national instability and ongoing uncertainty due to a global pandemic, with a major impact in the communities of Suffolk County, compounded by the tragic public murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis as well as other recent tragedies across the country involving the police, the group agreed that there is much work to be done in order to prevent and ensure that these heartbreaking incidents never happen in our Commonwealth and for the greater community to be allowed to heal as well.

With this in mind, the specific purpose of the meeting was to initiate a comprehensive discussion aimed at creating innovative and constructive solutions to bridge gaps that may exist that prevent fulfilling the missions of both the police and prosecutors. We hope to move the dial in a positive direction in terms of promoting and enhancing trust and confidence and a renewed spirit of cooperation with every neighborhood within Suffolk County, and particularly those that come into contact most frequently with law enforcement.

The foundational topics of importance that were initially discussed included:

• building and improving positive community relations with the police;

• practicing fair and impartial policing strategies;

• ensuring applications of procedural justice in all interactions with members of the public;

• ensuring racial and social justice as well as equality for all in the realms of the entire criminal justice system in Suffolk County.

The consensus of the group was that only by engaging in difficult and uncomfortable dialogue on these topics and actively listening to one another in order to voice collective  concerns, fears, disappointments, and frustrations will the group be able to make a lasting and impactful difference in the road to reform.

The assembled leaders agreed that there is a significant and justified demand for profound, immediate and lasting change during this critical time in our history across the state and beyond. These changes must be in both policing and prosecutorial philosophies. It is this group’s collective duty to rise to the occasion and work together in a committed and dedicated fashion to meet that challenge and work towards creating a model for the entire state and nation to replicate and build upon.

The time is now for leaders to lead and the Suffolk County Criminal Justice Leadership Group is prepared and committed to meet that challenge and provide a roadmap for healing and success.

Commissioner William Gross, Boston Police Dept.

Chief Brian Kyes,

Chelsea Police Dept.

Coronel Christopher Mason, Massachusetts State Police

Chief Kenneth Green, MBTA Transit Police Dept.

Chief James Guido,

Revere Police Dept. (Ret.)

Chief David Callahan, Revere Police Dept.

Rachael Rollins, Suffolk County District Attorney

Chief Terence Delehanty, Winthrop Police Dept.

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