Council Looks for Answers on Safety at Revere Beach

By Adam Swift

In the wake of the Memorial Day weekend shootings on Revere Beach that injured three people, city councillors were looking for information on how the city and state agencies can work together to prevent future violence along the beach at Monday night’s council meeting.

Several councillors filed motions asking for information from the local and state police on emergency plans for Revere Beach, as well as for the plans that were in place prior to the shootings on Sunday, May 28.

Councillor-at-Large Marc Silvestri said he was not trying to point fingers or politicize the event, but said it seemed like there was limited leadership from the state police the night of the shootings. State police have
primary jurisdiction over patrol and enforcement along Revere Beach Boulevard and Ocean Avenue.

“Two hours after several people were shot, there was still partying on social media on the Boulevard, and that was shocking to me,” said Silvestri. “I believe this falls on the state police and their lack of manpower and their lack of control that night.”

Councillor-at-Large Gerry Visconti noted that the first hot day of the season has traditionally brought problems along the beach over the past few years.

“Last year, it was a stabbing, and this year, three people were shot,” said Visconti.

Acting Mayor Patrick Keefe said he was in constant contact with Revere Police Chief David Callahan during the day, and went down to the scene.

In the weeks leading up to Memorial Day weekend, Keefe said he was in contact with the state police and DCR, in addition to the local police, to make sure they had a plan in place for security along the beach as the season began.

“They assured me that there was a plan in place, and quite frankly, things still happened,” said Keefe.

In the wake of the shootings, Keefe said his administration has met with leadership from the state police, local police, state Representative Jeff Turco, and others to go over plans for Revere Beach moving forward.

“I am not at liberty to discuss the exact specifics of the plan, but we did recognize that there probably needs to be an adjustment when it comes to the resources that are allocated to the beach,” said Keefe. “I have full faith in Chief Callahan and his team to work with the state police to make sure they are doing all they can with the resources they have to make sure that we have a welcoming beach for all.”

Callahan stated that the beach is state property controlled by the state police and the DCR, with the Revere Police assisting those agencies when needed.

“We absolutely don’t have the resources to control that area that they have,” said Callahan.

The chief said the state police told him that they had a plan in place and resources in the area on Memorial Day weekend.

On May 28, Callahan said he contacted other local police agencies and talked to their chiefs to let them know there could be issues and requested assistance. He added that when incidents happened, Revere police were on the Boulevard, and that the night shift was called in early to assist the officers and agencies on the scene.

Callahan noted that the issues that happened on Revere Beach extend across the country, with the increased use of social media as well as more young people who are not afraid to carry or be caught with illegal guns.

Councillor-at-Large Dan Rizzo said he understood there was a lack of resources for the local police department, and added he would support efforts to increase the size of the department as the city grows. Rizzo questioned if there was enough communication between local, state, the MBTA, and other agencies when it comes to securing the beach.

“I communicate with the state police and multiple other agencies on a regular basis,” said Callahan. “I don’t sleep at night because of the stuff that goes on and how concerned and passionate I am over this community.”

Mayoral aide Gianni Hill noted that the city plans on having continuing discussions with the MBTA, state police, and other agencies over beach security in the coming days.

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