November 2 2018,  Revere

Residents, councillors react to recent drug/gang busts, shift in focus

 By Tara Vocino

 

City Councillors and residents spoke up Monday night about what they’ve seen in the Cooledge and Rose Streets and Broadway area where police have shifted their focus.

“We’re proactive, and we have a high visibility,” Police Chief James Guido said. “There’s an increase in low-level drug dealers, but there’s no increase in crime. We don’t have a gang problem, and extra officers sworn in recently help immensely. We have more who will graduate soon.”

Police Det. Sgt. Robert Impemba said officers have shifted their focus to those streets and dedicated more time there. Guido added that crime in general is better in those areas, and the point of a recent story in a local newspaper was to highlight two major cases that the Gang/Narcotic Unit worked on in October, not to scare people.

Wayne Rose, a Cooledge Street resident who lives in the middle portion of the Housing Authority near the intersection of Adams Street, said he has witnessed crime taking place since 2016. “I don’t see rampant crime,” Rose said. “I’m home at night, which is when crimes usually happen. I walk down the street at night and feel safe. I didn’t always feel that way.”

He thinks the solution is to give children, as young as 13, something to do, ranging from building a YMCA to a Boys Club. He requested a copy of the log.

His wife, Sherry, thinks more undercover police officers and different approaches to talking to youths is the answer. However, she agreed that crime has quieted down since 2016. “I don’t hear gunshots,” Sherry Rose said. “Before, I heard them a few times a week.”

Ward 3 Councillor Arthur Guinasso, the area representative, said he works hand-in-hand with Impemba and the Housing Authority, adding that he’s getting cooperation from police. “Observant residents are willing to come forward,” Guinasso said. “We can’t alarm people with destruction of facts. There’s no one in danger, and these rumors have to stop.”

Councillor-at-Large Dan Rizzo replied that he’s not questioning anyone’s work ethic, and the purpose of the recent newspaper story was to highlight two significant arrests made last month. “We need to figure out why drugs are moving into these neighborhoods from Shirley Avenue,” Rizzo said. “It’s alarming to me to read that it’s moving more to the Broadway area, one of the most highly traveled roads in the city. Even to read about just two gang and drug activity cases is disturbing.”

Rizzo said that an increase in crime has been reported in other media outlets recently, and Guido replied that those stories were inaccurate. Impemba said that The Revere Advocate story was accurate.

Councillor-at-Large George Rotondo requested a quarterly communication that they can refer back to. Guido agreed to send it.

Revere resident Pat Melchionno said the police are doing a great job, and that she’d like to see the police log appear in the local newspapers in more depth. “It’s very little compared to what other towns have,” Melchionno said.

Guido replied that the arrests and calls for service are published online, and he can’t control if the media publishes it. Agreeing, Guinasso said he’d like to read the police log in the paper more.

 

Tara Vocino may be reached at printjournalist1@gmail.com.

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