More than 50 organizations are working to keep people safe during the 2016 Boston Marathon, on Boylston Street and beyond
Images courtesy Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, and taken during training exercises and drills
Images courtesy Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, and taken during training exercises and drills
Dear Protesters and Law Enforcement:
It’s ok to be angry and upset when tragedy strikes, especially upon the innocent. It’s not ok for ANYONE to become violent and commit illegal acts to ease their pain. These actions can not be excused or tolerated just because someone is unhappy with results or findings. Violence begets violence. In the end individuals may lose their own right to freedom and not for just a night. Would it actually be worth it in the end? Messages need to be delivered in a respectful way so that it’s heard. When individuals respond with violence, that is all that anyone will see, hear or remember and everyone stops listening after a certain point.
Recently, in the fatal shooting of an unarmed Michael Brown the prosecutors chose not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for fatally wounding Brown. This I’m sure is upsetting to many. I was quite upset myself. I’m know I would have had stronger feelings if it had happened to one of my own children. I can certainly see both sides of the situation. Officer Wilson felt threatened because he too had been hurt and he was in fear of Brown due to his size. Wilson most likely feared not knowing what might be coming his way. Michael Brown probably felt so powerless knowing that the officer did in fact have a gun and he was a black man fighting off a white police officer. Things could have ended so differently.
What needs to come from this tragedy, is a way for officers to feel safer so that they don’t continue to shoot unarmed victims. Maybe a handheld scanner than can quickly recognize a concealed weapon needs to be considered and carried by officers. This would of course cost money, but the value of human life should be worth it in the end!
Felina Silver Robinson
WORCESTER, Mass. — Worcester is the latest Massachusetts community to install a gunshot detection system.
Worcester police expect to have the ShotSpotter system up and running Wednesday and plan an online chat Thursday to answer questions from the public.
The technology uses sensors to alert police when gunfire occurs. The system, already in use in Springfield and Boston, helps determine the number of shots, the area where they are located and time of the gunfire.
Chief Gary Gemme tells The Telegram & Gazette the six square miles covered by the system include the Main South, Grafton Hill and Shrewsbury Street neighborhoods and the Canal District.
Gemme says controlled gunshots will be fired in sand barrels Wednesday to test the system.
Worcester has had an average of 30 shootings per year recently.
BOSTON — Rob Rogers and his sister, Jenn, hit the pavement training for a 26.2-mile emotional journey with their brother, Sean Collier, in their hearts and on their minds.
They’re the founders of Team Collier Strong, and the team is training for the 2014 Boston Marathon.
“Collier Strong to me means just to be the best person that you can, live life to the fullest, push through and enjoy the people who matter most to you,” said Rob Rogers.
Jenn Rogers spoke about the emotional toll Collier’s death has had on their family.
“We have some good days and some bad days. It’s hard when you come from such a huge family and you notice the weight of one missing, especially him,” she said.
Team Collier Strong was born in the wake of tragedy after MIT Police Officer Sean Collier was shot and killed on April 18, 2013, allegedly at the hands of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.
It’s the team’s mission to keep his legacy alive and to raise money to send one self-sponsored police recruit through the Lowell Police Academy each year. The team’s training runs bring them to the banks of the Charles River overlooking the city and close to the campus Collier loved and patrolled.
“I just want them to remember, remember his sacrifice, remember our family in their prayers,” Jenn Rogers said.
For some, the long runs are a way to cope and reflect.
Rob Rogers said he often thinks about his last conversation with his brother. When he heard about the bombs at the marathon finish line on Boylston Street he checked to see if Collier was OK.
“I just sent a text and said, ‘Are you cool?’ He said, ‘Yeah,’ and that was the last thing I said to him, and I think about what I would say now. Tell him I’m proud of him. I miss him. He was just the best guy, the best man, the best brother, the best son, he truly mean so much to so many people,” he said.
Collier always gave 100 percent and on marathon day Team Collier Strong will make him proud. The team’s rallying cry is, “How strong? Collier STRONG!” When Rob Rogers crosses the marathon finish line this year his words to his brother will be, “We did it buddy!”
All proceeds donated to Team Collier Strong’s marathon run will support the Sean Collier Self-Sponsorship Scholarship.
For more information, click here.
BOSTON — Enhanced Boston Marathon security measures announced Monday morning include restrictions on what spectators may have along the 26.2-mile course.
An estimated 3,500 police officers — many in uniform, but some undercover — will be along the course, MEMA Director Kurt Schwartz said. The number of surveillance cameras will also be increased.
“We are enlisting the support of runners and spectators in ensuring we have a safe event. We are promoting the simple slogan, ‘If you see something, say something,'” Schwartz said.
Spectators along the route are being discouraged from bringing backpacks or any similar item carried over the shoulder, coolers, glass containers or cans, handbags lager than 12 inches by 12 inches by 6 inches, large blankets and costumes that cover the face.
“If you are going to carry personal items, we urge you to carry them in clear plastic bags,” Schwartz said.
About 130 National Guardsmen will march as participants, wearing BAA bibs in groups of 10.
The security announcements are in addition to measures revealed last month to protect the runners and spectators.
No bags will be allowed at marathon venues or on the buses runners take from Boston to the start line in Hopkinton. Several viewing areas in Hopkinton will also have heightened security rules.
“We are confident that the overall experience of runners and spectators will not be impacted and all will enjoy a fun day,” Schwartz said.
Last year, two bombs exploded near the finish line of the race, killing three people and injuring more than 260 others.
WASHINGTON — The Homeland Security Department has warned airlines that terrorists could try to hide explosives in shoes.
It’s the second time in less than three weeks that the government has issued a warning about possible attempts to smuggle explosives on a commercial jetliner.
Homeland Security said Wednesday it regularly shares relevant information with domestic and international partners, but it declined to discuss specifics of a warning sent to airlines.
“Our security apparatus includes a number of measures, both seen and unseen, informed by the latest intelligence and as always DHS continues to adjust security measures to fit an ever evolving threat environment,” the department said in a statement.
A U.S. intelligence official told The Associated Press that DHS released a notice to airlines reiterating that liquids, shoes and certain cosmetics were of concern, all of which are covered under existing Transportation Security Administration security policies.
The latest warning was focused on flights headed to the United States from abroad.
The official said “something caused DHS concern, but it’s a very low threshold to trigger a warning like this.” The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the issue publicly.
Earlier this month Homeland Security warned airlines with flights to Russia to be on the lookout for explosive devices possibly hidden inside toothpaste. The Transportation Security Administration then banned passengers from bringing any liquids in their carry-on luggage on nonstop flights from the U.S. to Russia.
That warning became public just days before the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
It is unclear if the latest warning, first reported Wednesday by NBC News, is related to the earlier threats to Russia-bound flights.
Air passengers in the United States have had to take off their shoes at airport security checkpoints since shortly after Richard Reid tried to ignite explosives hidden in his shoes on a Miami-bound flight in late 2001. Reid pleaded guilty to terrorism charges and is serving a life sentence.
The traveling public has grown increasingly impatient with expanding security checks at airports.
TSA in recent years has changed some security procedures to allow young children and passengers 75 and older to keep their shoes on. The security agency has also launched a fee-based program that allows willing flyers to submit to background checks and avoid having to remove their shoes, jackets and small amounts of liquids packed in carry-on luggage.
By Dan Atkinson, Wicked Local/Somerville
SOMERVILLE, Mass. — A Somerville parking officer who had previously been arrested on assault charges reportedly cursed out the high school hockey coach and fought a police officer who tried to take him away from the game on Feb. 8, according to police reports.
Our news partners at Wicked Local/Somerville reported during the SHS boys hockey game against Salem at Veterans Memorial Rink, a detail officer reportedly saw Anthony Silvestri, 60, of 252 Medford St., approach the home team bench with one minute left in the game. After Somerville pulled its goalie and Salem scored, Silvestri reportedly yelled “What the f— are you doing? You blew the f—ing game!” at the coach.
When the officer told Silvestri he couldn’t talk like that at the rink, Silvestri reportedly cursed at him. The officer reportedly told Silvestri to leave and when Silvestri refused, put his hands on him. Silvestri reportedly pulled back and continued cursing at the officer.
The officer reportedly grabbed Silvestri and brought him to the lobby before Silvestri broke his grip, faced the officer and puffed out his chest as if he were preparing to fight, according to the officer’s report. The officer then sprayed pepper spray in Silvestri’s face and told him to put his hands behind his back, which Silvestri refused to do.
The officer then grabbed one of Silvestri’s arms and tried to pin it behind his back, but Silvestri struggled with him. The officer then pushed Silvestri against the wall and both men fell on the ground before the officer handcuffed Silvestri.
City officials have not returned a request for comment about Silvestri’s employment status. According to the city’s most recent budget, Silvestri is a parking control officer who makes $42, 466 a year. He was previously arrested in August 2012 and charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, according to police reports.
After an argument with a pedestrian who claimed Silvestri almost hit him while he was in the crosswalk, Silvestri reportedly spat at the pedestrian, according to reports from the Aug. 12 incident. Silvestri then drove to a parking lot, and when the pedestrian stood in front of Silvestri’s Jeep and called police, Silvestri reportedly bumped him with his Jeep more than once.
Silvestri was placed on administrative leave following that incident, according to city officials.
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