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Boston Mayor Wu announces new Mass and Cass plan to clear tents, increase police patrols

Wu announces new Mass and Cass plan to clear tents, increase police patrols
Wu announces new Mass and Cass plan to clear tents, increase police patrols 02:47

BOSTON - Boston Mayor Michelle Wu has announced a new strategy to deal with ongoing safety problems at Mass and Cass.

At a news conference Friday, Wu said the city will clear tents and increase policing, calling the plan "a new phase." She said there's now infrastructure in place to help people get housing and services and even store their belongings. She added this is crucial as summer is ending and it starts getting colder outside.

"What we are doing now is taking the window of time before temperatures drop and it becomes truly life or death when you are living on the street and don't have housing in winter," Wu told reporters.

The city is now seeking an ordinance from the City Council to allow police to remove the tents, saying the tents are hiding criminal activity. The ordinance goes before the council next week.

"The city of Boston's so-called law enforcement sweeps in the past have not been successful, that is not what we are trying to replicate," said Wu.

A temporary shelter with 30 beds ion Massachusetts Avenue is also in the planning stages for the area. The city wants to use the shelter to help identified individuals getting help and supplement three other shelters. Some in the neighborhood are skeptical and believe criminal activity will follow.

"The notion that this is going to be temporary is not really well aligned with what the neighborhood has experienced over the last some many years," said State Rep. John Moran (D-South End).

Boston Police also plan to set up mobile units to monitor activity at Mass and Cass, which Cox acknowledged will require additional officers and training.

"I wouldn't say they don't want help," said Loriann Fraser, who used to experience homeless and lived in Mass and Cass. "I would just say they don't know how. Some of them look at it like an endless means and don't understand that there's a life still out there for you."

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