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Boston Police meeting with community during National Night Out in hopes of slowing gun violence

Boston Police meeting with community during National Night Out in hopes of slowing gun violence
Boston Police meeting with community during National Night Out in hopes of slowing gun violence 02:18

By Courtney Cole, WBZ-TV

BOSTON - Boston Police and the Suffolk County District Attorney will be spending time in the city's neighborhoods as part of National Night Out.

Every year, National Night Out is the first Tuesday in August; it's dedicated to building better relationships in the community between law enforcement and neighbors, to ultimately help stop the violence.

And some neighborhoods have seen far too much of that.

On Monday, police were investigating a deadly shooting in broad daylight. A man was killed on Norwell Street in Dorchester. Nearly a week ago, a 15-year-old boy was shot and killed in Dorchester as well. In both cases, police have not made any arrests.

WBZ's Courtney Cole spoke to Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden about solutions he believes can help prevent and reduce violence.

"The biggest fear is that the guns and the shootings will take crime in Boston out of control," District Attorney Hayden said.

Streets filled with crime scene tape and flashing lights. It's a sight all too common for some in Boston including Hayden.

"I've probably been to over 100 of these types of scenes over the course of my career. They never get any easier," Hayden said during a press briefing at a crime scene last week.

In fact, he says they hit home pretty hard.

"Everywhere you go, people will tell you, it's apparently obvious it's too many guns on the street," Hayden told WBZ.

But he has his sights set on the solution, not just the problem.

"We actually started Boston First. Boston First is a new initiative, first of its kind in the New England area--where we're working with the ATF, all of our local law enforcement-- to focus on the best evidence around gun forensics and gun practices," Hayden said.

He continued by explaining the initiative focuses on tracking guns from the moment they hit the street to the moment they're recovered-- to address trafficking and unsolved shootings.

"Those are the two key areas where I think you can really make an impact. If you do a better job with unsolved shootings, you're going to help drive down the cycle of violence," said Hayden.

Courtney Cole, WBZ: "This point is especially relevant on National Night Out, you're a big proponent of getting the community involved in the solution."

District Attorney Hayden: "I believe that our response has to be from our entire community: from our schools, to our backyard BBQs, all the way to our boardrooms, all the way to city hall. We need an entire communal response to really deal with this situation."

Hayden said the response from the community was positive on Monday, the first day of National Night Out events, locally.

Courtney Cole, WBZ:  "So you're hoping for the same or even better today?"

District Attorney Hayden: "I'm hoping for the same today, even better! I got the first event and I was amazed at how many people were there and that continued throughout the whole night. Our last stop was in Mattapan and there were as many people in Mattapan as there were at the first stop."

Hayden has six areas to tackle Tuesday evening.

"We're going to East Boston, I know we're going to South End, Chinatown," Hayden shared.

Intentionally hitting a wide gamut of areas to show that crime and challenges everywhere...matter.

"We cannot do it without our community, we cannot do it without our community partners,  we can't do it without good intervention and prevention strategies. Those are the keys, those are the solutions that are really going to make a difference," said District Attorney Hayden.

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