April 12, 2018
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Authorities in Brockton are working with the community to reduce crime after an uptick in violence.
In response to recent shootings, Plymouth County District Attorney Tim Cruz says extra resources from the State Police Community Action Team and Drug Task Force have been called in. He said within a few hours of the extra units arriving, an arrest was made and a loaded 9-millimeter pistol was secured.
“Brockton is an urban community. It’s not a bad place. There’s a small group of bad actors, who when you take them out of the equation, you see your numbers go way down,” said Cruz.
“We think at any given time, it’s a very small group of people, 40 to 50 people that are responsible for the overwhelming majority of gun violence in the city,” said Mayor Bill Carpenter.
Cruz says Brockton is one of 12 communities in the country to receive a $450,000 federal grant called Project Safe Neighborhood. Their focus will be on gun and gang violence.
“We’re sharing resources with all other law enforcement,” said Carpenter. “We’re targeting the most dangerous individuals in the city.”
At the meeting, residents were concerned the city was no longer safe with the violence.
“My windows were shot out, my car was vandalized,” said Alyzandra Brioso. “Because I filed a report about my vandalized car against this gang family, my windows were shot out.”
Members of state and local law enforcement said they are increasing their presence as a response. They were also asking for feedback from residents on where they could improve.
“We only know so much. The knowledge of the community is superior to the knowledge of what we have,” said Brockton Police Captain Mark Porcaro. “They know where the problems are, they know who the problems are, who they are, what they’re up to.”
He said if a person feels unsafe, they should call 9-1-1. If something looks suspicious in a neighborhood, people can call the non-emergency line at (508)-941-0200.
Pastor Michael Gilbert from the New Life Temple Church in Brockton said people shouldn’t be afraid to speak up, but should also include solutions to better the entire community.
“We don’t know their issues, we don’t know their situations,” said Gilbert. “I think before we pass judgement, we ought to reach out a hand. Not just come with a hand, but come with an open-hand solution and resources.”
Brioso gave an impassioned speech to the meeting, and said that she was targeted because she stood up alone. To reduce crime, she says it will take a concerted community effort.
“Let’s come together, truly united,” said Brioso. Let’s unite as one and clean up the City of Brockton.”