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Wu rejects City Council budget changes that would move money away from police, fire departments 

Boston.com, Ross Cristantiello, June 10, 2024.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said Monday that she is vetoing a series of budget adjustments that the City Council made last week, which included cutting allocations for the city’s police and fire departments.

By a 10-3 vote, councilors chose to reallocate money away from the Police Department, the Fire Department, Public Works Department, and the Transportation Department toward areas like housing assistance and youth jobs. Wu introduced her proposed budget for fiscal year 2025 in April. Councilors had been formulating their amendments to it during more than 30 hearings and working sessions that culminated in the vote last week.

The City Council reallocated $15.3 million of the proposed $4.6 billion budget. They did not reduce the overall spending level proposed by Wu. Under the council’s amendments, all of the city’s major departments, including those focused on public safety, would still see increases to their individual budgets.

View the news article here.

Boston City Council approves $4.6 billion budget with ‘cuts’ to Police and Fire 

Story by Gayla Cawley, Boston Herald

The Boston City Council approved more than $15 million in amendments to the mayor’s budget while pushing back on the “narrative” that millions of dollars in reductions it made to police and other departments were “cuts” to city services.

The City Council passed an amended version of Mayor Michelle Wu’s $4.6 billion budget for fiscal year 2025, via a 10-3 vote, on Wednesday, setting a seven-day clock for the mayor to either approve or veto the changes.

While opposing councilors spoke against cuts to departments that provide basic city services — such as police, fire, public works, transportation and the Boston Center for Youth and Families — the majority pointed to a data-driven process that took from big-budget departments that have historically been underspending for other initiatives that benefit residents.

View the article here.

Boston City Council still weighing cuts to the police department ahead of Wednesday vote 

By GAYLA CAWLEY, Boston Herald, June 4, 2024.

The Boston City Council is eying more than $12 million in amendments to the mayor’s budget as it heads into a Wednesday vote, changes that would cut more than $3 million from the police department and millions more from other city services.

The Council wrapped up its last relatively brief working session Tuesday afternoon, after three marathon sessions on Thursday, Friday and Monday, whittling down individual amendments submitted by 13 councilors that collectively would have cut more than $18 million from the police budget.

By the end of the final session, the Council reached consensus on roughly $12.6 million in changes to the mayor’s $4.6 billion budget for fiscal year 2025. Of its priorities, the Council was still approximately $650,000 short of funding available for its version of the budget.

View the article here.

Boston city councilor ducks four more public safety votes amid attendance scrutiny 

By GAYLA CAWLEY, Boston Herald, April 13, 2024.

A Boston city councilor with a record of ducking key public safety votes and overseeing a budget last year that sought to cut millions from the police department left the room this week to avoid voting on four police contract funding requests.

Councilor Tania Fernandes Anderson was present for the Wednesday City Council meeting, but was noticeably absent from a slew of votes that largely centered around approving funding for a $22.2 million five-year contract the city and a police union representing detectives agreed to last month.

Her absence was particularly notable given the recent scrutiny around Fernandes Anderson’s tendency to miss key public safety votes, following her call last week, later withdrawn, for attendance to be considered as a key metric for assessing the performance of councilors, while minutes reviewed by the Herald show she has missed more meetings than her colleagues since taking office in January 2022.

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Boston City Council Addresses Officer Wellness and Community Safety Grants 

thelocallens.org April 12, 2024

Meeting Overview:In a recent Boston City Council meeting, focus was placed on grant dockets aimed at combating gang violence and enhancing the well-being of Boston Police Department (BPD) officers. The meeting covered three main grants: the Senator Charles E. Shannon Junior Community Safety Initiative, the Boston Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative, and the Critical Incident Stress Management Grant.

The Senator Charles E. Shannon Junior Community Safety Initiative grant, totaling $1,754,475, is designed to combat gang violence through an array of prevention, intervention, law enforcement prosecution, and reintegration programs. This grant supports regional and multi-disciplinary strategies to address gang violence and includes various nonprofits and programs targeting young people committing violence and families affected by violence.

The Boston Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative grant of $44,100, awarded by the United States Department of Justice, focuses on reducing community violence in specific Boston areas by engaging returning citizens in programming that caters to their needs and strengthens support from family caregivers and the community. The Boston Police Department’s role in this grant includes providing necessary crime data for planning and implementation and hiring an intern to support grant activities.

The third grant discussed was the FY 24 CISM Grant of $84,000, aimed at funding access to critical incident stress management and peer support programs to address mental wellness and suicide prevention for BPD officers. This grant is particularly noteworthy for its focus on officers’ mental health. It encompasses an app-based training program for officers and training certified by the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, which covers suicide prevention, addressing addiction, trauma, and stress intervention. The program aims to mitigate trauma exposure and prevent post-traumatic stress injuries, disorder, depression, anxiety, and ultimately, suicide among officers. It includes training in group crisis intervention, suicide prevention, and overcoming trauma to addiction.

View the article here.

Wu says unresolved Boston police union contracts weigh heavy on her conscience 

WGBH, Zoe Mathews, October 10, 2023.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu told Boston Public Radio on Tuesday she hopes “with every fiber of [her] being” to have Boston Police union contracts negotiated and resolved by the end of the year or early into 2024.

“That’s been one point in my conscience that has been sitting pretty heavy,” she said. “This has been far too long that our police officers have been without a functioning contract. They deserve it, their families deserve it, and the residents also deserve to know we are moving forward with the parameters that our city needs.”

View the news article here.

‘Blue Envelope Program' aims to help police better connect with drivers with autism 

NBCBOSTON.COM, By Eli Rosenberg and Kaitlin McKinley Becker • Published March 9, 2024/em>

>The bill passed in the Massachusetts Senate and is currently in the House, but the program has already been adopted by some police departments in the state like Marion and Needham

There is a new program that has already been adopted in some Massachusetts towns that aims to assist drivers who have autism spectrum disorder and police officers during things like traffic stops that are usually a stressful time.

As most of us know, getting pulled over by the police can be nerve-wracking -- the flashing lights, the anxiety, the sense of trouble... that's a lot. And for those with autism, being pulled over adds some extra complexities.

The "Blue Envelope Program" is aiming to change that.

The blue envelope holds a driver's license, registration and insurance card and can be handed to a police officer during a traffic stop. Then on the outside of the envelope, there's room to write specific instructions that can inform officers the best way to communicate with the driver, as well as share information about any triggers, impairments and the driver's diagnosis.

View the news article here.

FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin 

Provided by the FBI Training Division

The Bulletin accepts articles on virtually any topic of interest to the criminal justice community. To cover the widest-possible spectrum of subjects, the magazine generally does not publish articles on similar topics within a 12-month period or those previously featured or currently under consideration by other magazines.

Articles can be searched here.

To access the entire website go here.

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Boston Police Peer Support Unit 

The Boston Police Peer Support Unit and Critical Incident Team has proven to be a valuable resource to many officers from many agencies in addition to our own so if you or anyone you know needs assistance take advantage of this resource. You can call 617-343-5175 during business hours or our 7 days a week 24 hour a day hot-line which is 617-594-9091 and remain confidential. You do not have to tell us your name and you may ask any questions that you want in order to feel comfortable in coming forward or we can give you references to other resources. You can also call about another employee, who may not have seen emails regarding services, that you are concerned about and we will make a subtle attempt to offer them services.

The Boston Police Peer Support Unit has joined with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to create the Boston Peer Support Quiz. this is a safe, easy way to learn whether stress and depression might be affecting you. Using this service is completely voluntary and confidential. No information will be shared with the Boston Police Department. This is not an emergency response system. If you are in crisis or contemplating suicide, please call an on-call Peer Counselor immediately at 617-594-9091 or dial 911.

Do not suffer in silence,

Sgt. Joe King

Blue Line Financial LLC - Prepare for the Road Ahead.  

Retirement Planning, Education Planning, Estate Planning, Insurance, Investments

As with most other things in life, the key to achieving your long-term financial objectives is planning. Your goal may be to fund your children's college education, protect your family during your working years, or guarantee your own retirement security. These things will not happen by accident. It is important to determine what you would like to achieve financially and then map out a strategy that will help you meet those goals. The good news is that it is never too late to start.

Please use our Web site as a resource, and do not hesitate to contact us for additional information or to schedule a meeting. Tom Parlon

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