Press Release and 6 Point Action Plan to Combat Violence

Mayor William Lantigua
Friday November 5, 2010

Mayor Lantigua has been in daily contact with Chief Romero and Law Enforcement officials since taking office in January. The City is now facing an increase in violent behavior that we don’t need to tolerate in our Great City of Lawrence. Some of the recent violent behavior has taken place near or around some of the liquor establishments in the downtown area. However most recently this activity has spilled over to our neighborhoods. “All of this violence is unacceptable and needs to end”, stated Mayor William Lantigua, about the most recent outbreak of gun violence on the streets of Lawrence.

Mayor Lantigua released a 6 step action plan today to help combat some of the recent violence. Mayor Lantigua is calling upon all Federal, State and Local Officials, Law Enforcement, Community groups, clergy, and all residents of Lawrence to assist in stopping the violence in our City.

6 Point Action Plan to Combat Violence

  • Immediate Reinstatement of the Warrant Apprehension Team partnering with Sheriff Frank Cousins and the Lawrence Police Department. In the past this team has partnered with the City to identify and apprehend individuals with outstanding warrants. Sheriff Cousins has agreed and Chief Romero has embraced this team being reinstated in Lawrence. We will make it happen immediately.
  • Establishing “Operation Club Watch” throughout the downtown area on Friday, Saturday and Sunday Evenings. Operation “Club Watch” will ask for all major liquor establishments to partner with the Lawrence Police Department in paying for Police Patrols specifically in the Entertainment districts during the hours of 9pm – 2am. The business owners will be asked to become personally invested in the safety of our streets during these nighttime hours when their establishments are most crowded.
  • Implement a Gun Drop Off Program – “no questions asked” – with the Lawrence Police Department and the residents. The guns need to come off the streets and we need to be proactive in that approach.
  • Immediate Calls for Public Safety Resources in the upcoming days to seek financial assistance from State and Federal authorities to bring back laid-off Police Officers within our Lawrence Police department. The City will look to Governor Patrick, Senator John Kerry, Senator Scott Brown and Congresswomen Tsongas as well as the local delegation for instant help. Our men and women in uniform need help to combat crime on the streets, and we need our leaders to assist.
  • Personal one-on-one meetings with victims of recent crimes to learn more details working with the families and the community to identify strategies to solve their individual cases. All necessary personal shall be assigned to aggressively investigate all pending cases involving recent shootings and homicides. No cases shall be considered “cold”.
  • Mandatory meeting with all Liquor Establishments to be held within the next 10 days in my office conducted by myself and Chief John Romero. Owners must become more invested in the safety of our residents.