Tag Archives: gangs

My Thoughts on the Worcester Police Clergy Academy

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Pastor Esau Vance

By Elder Esau Vance, Senior Pastor of Mt. Olive Church & WBCA President

As I reflected back over the last seven weeks of this [Worcester police] clergy academy class I am convinced more than ever that it is going to take a total commitment on the part of the city’s officials, the police and the community to create a safe and thriving city that we can all be proud to live in.

But in order to achieve this safe and welcoming environment, everyone must step up to the plate and stand for righteousness, justice and equality for every citizen living in our city of Worcester. And we must become one city that sits on a hill and not two fragmented cities which are limping toward destruction. You see, a house that is divided against itself will surely fall.

And we must not continue to blame the police for an increase in drug use and distribution and related crimes; and when there is a drug related death or crime. We keep our lips closed and refuse to share the needed information with the police for them to bring the criminals to justice.

Likewise, we cannot expect the police to do their job of maintaining peace and order if the only thing we can say about them is that they are all ROGUE COPS. And we cannot ask them to protect our families and homes if we refuse to do our part in policing and protecting our own neighborhoods.

And we must do everything we can to help see to it that every officer gets a chance to go home to his or her families at the end of the day.

I paid close attention to the instructions that the officers shared with us during the seven weeks of classes. And I discovered that what we see in a 30 second news flash by the media is not always reality.

I also learned that although an alleged criminal may not have a weapon on his person, that when he comes within a certain distance of a police officer who does have weapons, that he is also no longer consider to be unarmed, according to police procedures.

Therefore, if we allow citizen apathy to cause us to stand idle and leave the safety and security of 180,000 people in our city to 400 police officers alone, I believe that we will live to regret such a decision.

And so every individual must work with city officials and the police in order to create a city where we can all live in peace and harmony.
The task of protecting our city must be a shared responsibility for every concerned citizen.

However, continuous finger pointing and divisiveness will not solve our problems; it going to take prayer, trust, and mutual respect for one another.

And we will never be able to move forward as a city as long as we are bent on living in the past and dwelling on past mistrusts. And Dr. King was right when he said that we must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools. And as concerned citizens let us encourage our young men and women to comply with the order of the police officer when requested to do so.

And trust me, I am not under any illusion about race relations, gender bias and religious discrimination, but I have hope and faith that in spite of ourselves, that God will help us to find a way to save our city, our union and our country.

And we all have our work cut out for us: the police, city officials, as well as every citizen in the city of Worcester. You see, I heard the call of several officers asking the clergy and the community to join forces with them to make our city a safer and better place for everyone. And I heard them when they said that they cannot do this job alone. I also heard the officers when they said that they too have some house cleaning to do in weeding out a small number of bad apples among their ranks.
Finally, I heard them when they said that, “all lives matter” – black, white, red, brown, yellow!

Yes, all lives do matter, and that includes the policeman who walks or rides his beat, the young black and white men and women who drive and walk the streets of our city. It also includes every other individual who lives within the boundaries of our great city. You see, all lives are precious in God’s sight because we were all made in His image and likeness.

In closing, I want to challenge everyone here tonight and those who took the class to get the word out to the community from the pulpits, the dinner table conversations, and from our social gatherings that we will work together and rise together, as this city’s greatest moments of achievements are yet to come.

A no-brainer, Worcester: Guns down! Bikes up!


By Rosalie Tirella

A few columns back I wrote about the BIKES UP! GUNS DOWN! guys: how, while on the road in Worcester one night, I saw about 20 of them riding through a city intersection on their dark, dusty, lunar-landscape bikes…no headlights, no blinkers, no reflectors, no mufflers, no nothing, just tires on hunks of metal and the youths straddling their glorified urban go-carts like Greek gods astride thuderbolts! They were loving it! The freedom of it! One kid, the leader, stood up while riding, punched his fist into the air as the herd of bikes crested the hill to swoop down into the belly of the ‘hood. The other guys, following his lead, whipped out colorful bandanas and let them fly in the breeze. The scene felt transformative: they were no longer poor, inner-city youths without hope, without direction, without the dough to buy new motorcycles or those pointless baby mopeds that the rich kids, the Millennials, ride around on – more toy than bike. Nope, these Worcester young people got “creative”… and silly slapped their poverty and bested the moped-riding middle-class kids –  some as old as 34/35! – to make something MAGICAL.  They were not riding something store-bought, shiny and new, a marketing tool like you’d see in some insipid style blog. These kids were Urban Poetry at its most sublime. The look all their own. Their reasons for riding deep. Nothing fake or derivative about these guys. Through riding their lunar bikes they were saying: Who has time for guns and killing when you’re in the eye of THIS hurricane, with the summer wind softly caressing your body as you rumble like hell through all the places that please you/repel you? How can blood beat riding in the night with your friends, under cover, under the radar, outside the law?

Remember what Dylan sang: To live outside the law you must be honest. Or something like that, which means …

WE NEED TO KEEP THIS BIKER MOVEMENT MOVING.

Today, while gassing up, I saw this:

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Guys with bikes on a UHaul pull. They were walking amongst the several colorful bikes they had, like cowboys rustling a herd of cattle. One guy had the gas nozzle in his hand and was gassing up the several bikes they were hauling. A guy with long hair and forearms festooned with tattoos seemed to be the leader. He was driving the  vehicle that was pulling the bikes.

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I told him I liked the movement, the politics behind it: Screw the guns and the killing, LET’S RIDE, MAN!!!!

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He smiled. I asked him if it was ok to take pics. I didn’t want to get anyone into trouble or make anyone feel uncomfortable because I believe what these guys are doing is BRILLIANT. In a totally organic, homegrown, up from the roots move these guys, with no funds, no support, no nothing are solving their problem, STEMMING THE KILLING. By riding around on junky bikes they are saving our junky city.

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Who wants to play hoop with a bunch of middle-aged cops trying to reach them where no one really can?  Who wants to listen to some middle-class social worker from Holden drone on and on about a youth rec program?

No one. Not really.

This is their answer to their reality. To the drugs, the shit apartments, the shit jobs. Better than some social worker cuz IT’S THE GUYS HELPING EACH OTHER. Better than a church program cuz they’ve made their own church. What is CHURCH if not a community built around non-violence/brotherhood/love??… a community whose members support each other, keep each other safe, minister to each other?

The church of dirt bikes! If Jesus were here, he’d ride!!!!

It is a shame the pointless Worcester Millennials putter around on their fancy mopeds because they can lay down the $$$, while these kings and princes, just because they are poor, are chased down by the police and are the topic of Worcester City Council subcommittee meetings: HOW CAN WE STOP THIS? HOW CAN WE BRING THESE GUYS DOWN? WE MUST CONFISCATE THE BIKES! They’re stolen! They’re hot!

No, they’re not! according to the guys I met.

The guy with the long hair told me: “EVERYTHING YOU’RE READING IS WRONG.” Looking at his bikes, he said, “You can’t steal a 200…” … his voice trailed off.

I CHOSE/CHOOSE to believe him.

I took a few more photos, then went back to my car, where Jett and Lilac were waiting for me. Lilac, my new dog, tends to eat the upholstery if I’m gone for longer than 5 minutes …

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She is young and high-spirited … a little wild, which is WHY I LOVE her. Her mayhem is her magic. I try to work with and through her mayhem because she is, when all is said and done, beautiful.

Just like these dirt-bike-riding youths. Why kill youngness? Why kill spirit? Why annihilate an expression of hope? What happens to a dream deferred? Why take away their junk bikes? They’ll pick up junk guns! Why not work with them, not against them? There is already so much working against them! Why not give them: headlights, reflective gear (you can by reflective adhesive tape at the Dollar Store) … a break? Why not hold repair workshops to help bring their bikes up to snuff? Why not dedicate some stretch of city land to them so they can ride and have fun? Country kids go out, climb on their bikes and just ride the back roads and fallow fields outside their homes. I’ve seen this. It’s primal.

It’s not fair that the GUNS DOWN! BIKES UP! youths are society’s targets. It’s classicism and racism and dream-imploding.

We can do better, Worcester!

GUNS DOWN! BIKES UP!

BIKES UP! GUNS DOWN!

Smart move! (For now) Worcester police officers in our schools

Worcester Mayor Joseph M. Petty announced today that Superintendent of Schools Melinda Boone, City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Chief of Police Gary Gemme and he have come to an agreement to develop and implement the school resource officer model in the Worcester Public Schools.

In addition to the four liaisons currently servicing the schools, three additional Worcester Police Department officers will enhance support and coverage to all eleven [City of Worcester] secondary schools for the upcoming school year.

“We have always been proactive about the safety of our students and that is why, working with Dr. Boone and Manager Augustus, we will be increasing the number of school resource officers,” said Mayor Petty.  “These highly trained officers will foster relationships with students and faculty, continuing to ensure an environment where teachers can teach and students can learn.”

One WPD School Resource Officer will continue to be assigned full-time to each of the city’s five comprehensive high schools – Burncoat High, Doherty High, North High, South High, and Worcester Technical High School.

Two additional full-time police officers will be assigned to the remaining two grades 7- through 12 schools and the city’s four middle schools.

“The safety and well being of WPS students has always been my number one priority every day, and this year is no exception.  These resource officers will be extremely well trained to provide collaboration and support to our school administrative teams so our students can focus on learning,” said Superintendent Melinda Boone.  “We welcome continued partnership with the Worcester Police Department to use a school-based safety model that is used by many districts throughout the country.”

The Worcester Public Schools will continue to reimburse the City of Worcester for the shared cost of four school resource officers.

The WPD will shift resources to place the additional police officers in the schools, ensuring no additional dollars are taken out of the classroom.

“The safety of our schools is paramount, and the city is happy to step up to do our part to ensure it,” said City Manager Augustus. “By providing additional officers, we will not only benefit from a day-to-day security presence in our schools, but will help the police build relationships with kids that will be beneficial in a number of ways.”

The officers will be strategically selected by Worcester Police Chief Gemme for the School Resource Officer role to ensure the right temperament, training and personality. The officers will go through specialized training as part of the school resource officer role.

“The Worcester police department enthusiastically endorses the decision to expand our community policing partnership with the Worcester Public Schools.  The school liaison officers are committed to building relationships based upon trust and respect with the school administrators, teachers, students, and parents.  We look forward to helping to provide a safe and secure environment for members of the public school community,” said Chief Gemme.

Beauty

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By Rosalie Tirella

Four or so weeks ago, outside my Worcester inner-city three decker, I made a new friend: Beauty, a little Chihuahua-mix from across the street. She was funny-looking cute in the way only mutts can be: long, thin body, a head that was disproportionately big for her shoulders, a kink in the middle of her tail, no taller than a beer can. The great thing about Beauty:  she was wearing a sparkly blue collar attached to a sparkly blue leash, which was held by a little girl, about six years old. One of the little kids in my neighborhood, just like you see all over Worcester inner-city neighborhoods: teeny, slips of children, undernourished, dull, pinched complexions, sometimes hair not combed out, running pell mell across busy city streets not much higher than the car tires that whiz by them. These children are so vulnerable looking you are scared for them. At first you see them as sickly and you despair for the city (they’re Worcester’s future). Then you see them as beautiful – the most exquisitely delicate of children, bones made of glass, eyes made of sea shells, hair of silk … They are the glass ornaments with which you’d adorn your Christmas tree, they are the wind catchers you’d hang from your kitchen window, in a special spot, so the morning sunlight can shine through them.

This little girl with the Chihuahua was wearing a dollar store short set; her shoes looked like slippers. But, she was full of spirit! She was running to beat the band to meet me in my parking lot, with Beauty trotting confusedly, but proudly ( little head up!), next to her. I had just got home from working and was unloading my car. The girl was smiling, seemed interested in me and Jett, my husky mix, who always travels with me. She watched me as I organized my bags and put Jett’s lead on him. She began to follow me, walking right uo to the front door of my building with me.

I smiled. I knew the pattern! Lots of inner-city kids growing up without the physical trappings of a middle-class childhood –  vacations at the Cape, big backyards filled with swing sets and the latest electronic gadgets and toys – are like this little girl.  They have personalities that absolutely sparkle, that seem to burst out of their tiny bodies! They lack the material shit their rich, spoiled and, ultimately, boring counterparts have so they create their own fun. Make their own childhood castles, their unique kiddie worlds. They are curious, aware, intuitive … sharp. They are interested in – sometimes fascinated by! – the people around them. Human toys! They want to engage you! Chat! Listen to your voice and what you have to say! Years ago, growing up in Green Island, I used to be one of those little kids! Not so young, maybe 10 … Saturday mornings I was running down Lafayette Street, making my way to the little old lady who fed 20 cats outside her flat, watching them run wild atop this little hill of garbage in her back yard. Fascinating! Then I’d run down Bigelow Street for my next adventure – to visit the weird old lady whose mouth hung down stiff on one side like it was just waiting for a cigar to be slipped in and who always wore heavy black man’s shoes. One of her legs was shorter than the other, so the soles of one of her heavy monsters was much thicker than the other.  Fascinating! This lady always began her friendly chats with me on her back porch with: NOW YOU KIDS LISTEN TO YOU MOTHER … her voice gravelly, husky, gruff from the cigarettes she smoked incessantly. I’d spend a half hour with this chain smoker, looking at her big, black man’s shoes that were always polished and shiny, and her thick ankles – always in tight fitting (you could see the red band the socks’ elastic top made on her white skin) ankle socks. Wanda was always such a know it all! So much fun to listen to her pontificate! Then I’d move one door down and say hello to Wanda’s neighbors, the old couple in the flat next door. They weren’t as chatty as Wanda with the crooked mouth but they were soothing, very domestic, like the little old couple you’d find in a Gingerbread house in the middle of enchanted woods! The wife used to sew beautiful little pillow dolls with plastic cupie doll faces. She’d show me her latest projects – dolls with dresses made of the prettiest cotton fabric, wearing bonnets she made specially for them. Bonnets trimmed with white lace to match the lace at the hem of their dresses! I adored these handmade beauties! Wanted all of them, which she had placed all over her husband’s and her bed and sofa. They had taken over their tenement! She knew I coveted her pillow dolls and would sometimes give me one of her less pretty babies. For Christmas or my birthday or First Holy Communion. Special occasions like that. I’d run straight home to show my mom, cutting through the big field between our buildings, not watching where I ran because I was so excited, coming home with brambles,we called them “pickers,” all over socks andthe bottoms of my slacks!

Ma! I’m home!!! Look what Elsie gave me!!!!!

These days, summer of 2015, this little girl, proud owner of Beauty, reminded me of me! Curious about the people around her, shy but open, wanting to learn what you liked, who you knew … people like me, now a middle aged lady down the street, stoking HER curiosity, HER imagination. I knew and loved the pattern!  So I obliged!

Hi! I said to her with enthusiasm. HELLO!

Is that your dog? she asked me, looking fascinated by the entire Rosalie-Jett production/catastrophe!

Yes! I said, His name is Jett. You’ve got such a cute dog! I love his collar! What’s your dog’s name? 

I could tell right then and there he didn’t have one! She was about to improvise! Looking at the sidewalk and then looking at me, glancing at my dress, my face, then my legs, she blurted: BEAUTY!!!!!

I wanted to scoop her up and hug her!  Kids and their not-so-secret compliments! I wanted to cry!

But instead I said: That’s a great name! I love that name! Smiling, now setting my bags down to seriously chat with my new friend, I said: How old is Beauty? She’s a great friend! I love her blue collar! It matches her leash!  I wish Jett had one like that.

Shyly pleased with my compliment and still basking in the glow of her ingenuity, the little girl walked her little dog around me smiling. I opened my car door and got Jett’s doggy treat jar out. I twisted off the cap and took out a little piece of liver snap and offered it to Beauty. She was too nervous to eat it.

I’ll bring you some treats you’ll like tomorrow, I told Beauty. Then said goodbye to my new friends.

The next day I had a bag of goodies ready for Beauty. At the end of my day, just as I had expected, Beauty and her little girk owner rushed across the street, oblivious to traffic, to meet me and Jett. My heart sang! Innocence amid the crack houses, the yellow police tape, the guy men with their pants right off their asses so you saw their underwear.

Here are some snacks for Beauty! I said to the little girl (who never gave me her name, whose name I didn’t ask to know), giving her the dog treats. Looking at the skinny dog, Beauty, noting the ridges of her little back bone and how they protruded through her thin coat, I realized Beauty is the last to be fed in this household I declared for all the universe to hear: I’LL HAVE FOOD FOR YOU TOMORROW! I WILL! FOR YOU!!!!

I went upstairs to my apartment and wanted to collapse on my bed. The city is overwhelming, too stimulating, like electricity going through me! Instead, I immediately began putting together a beautiful puppy package for Beauty: A big blue stuffed dog toy shaped like a bone. It squeaked when you squeezed it. A plastic pup canister with red paw prints on it that I filled with Jett’s dog food. And then – the piece de resistance! – a big water bowl that looked and acted like a water cooler! (pictured above). It was topped off with a huge, clear plastic  jug, that once filled would keep the water flowing and, I believed, serve Beauty well – and fascinate her little mistress. Then, lastly, a blue water/food bowl that looked too cute! I put it all on the dining room table for the next day.

The next day my building had graffiti sprayed all over it by gangs. It had been tagged – by  gang members and drug kings who have been shooting at and killing each other with impunity all over Worcester this summer. Last week there were bullet casings found on our street. Before that, up a ways, one kid fired his gun at another kid. They were both in their cars, driving their cars.

I, in a panic, called my cool landlord and shouted: THE BUILDING HAS BEEN TAGGED! GET DOWN HERE NOW AND PAINT OVER IT! COVER IT UP. NOW. PLEASE. PLEASE.

He is my friend. So within a half hour he was downstairs calmly painting over the convoluted letters that were like a slap in the face to this end of the street, home to about 10 little kids who ride their bikes all over and … BEAUTY AND HER OWNER.

Ten minutes or so later, my cell phone rang. It was my landlord:  COME DOWN HERE, ROSE.

What now?! I cried as I threw on my shoes and ran downstairs. At the bottom of the stairwell I met my landlord and a little black boy, about 11. The boy was shaking, then he got still, like a small animal, or a bird, in physical shock.

I looked at my landlord. He said: Take him upstairs. He was just chased down the street by a guy in a van, with a gun.

What?! I cried. I’ll wait with him in the hallway upstairs. Did you call the police?

Just as my landlord was about to answer my question, a car pulled up in front of our building: the boy’s relatives. They had come for him. He went out to them and got into the car. My landlord called 911. The cops were on the scene in minutes. They talked to the relatives and the little boy.  A few hours later the police caught the guy who had been chasing the boy. They found him hiding in the bushes next door. With his gun.

For days I was too stunned to write this…but then the shock wore off and I am so worried about Beauty and her owner!

WHERE WERE THEY?! I DID NOT SEE THEM ANYWHERE!

My heart dropped to the soles of my shoes. I worried about them and all the cute, skinny little kids in my neighborhood and Worcester’s inner city neighborhoods, with their innocent faces and social little personalities. Beauty, that funny looking little dog, no higher than 6 inches at the shoulders, and her little girl owner were in the back of my mind all day, as I ran InCity Times. When I got home, they were not on the sidewalk near my house waiting for me like they used to be. I went upstairs and felt very alone.

So I decided to TAKE ACTION!  I began working the phones, calling all the politicians in town. I told them about the little boy my landlord and I gave shelter to – from a storm made of kids with guns and disrespect and no love for anyone, not even themselves. Self-destruction! Confusion!  Children being chased by other children with guns! In my neighborhood, in our city! I cried to them. I’ve seen it! Just yesterday! The expression on that little boy’s face! He was quarry.

THIS IS MADNESS. STOP THE MADNESS.

Everyone responded to my fears and pleas in politician triple-speak. Such useless bull shit! Fuck you all! Except for Worcester Mayor Joe Petty, a guy totally underestimated by his opponents, who said to me, like he’s said before: I’M LISTENING, Rose. I’M LISTENING. I COULD HEAR HIM LISTENING, INTENSELY, OVER THE PHONE. Within 24 hours we had Worcester Police  Department fiot patrols on my street. The neighborhood has quieted down, calmed down. People are not on edge 24/7 – though we are all watching our backs. Joe Petty is Worcester’s Quiet Man. Like John Wayne in John Ford movies, he doesn’t say much but he’s got integrity, is modest, and will always rise to the occasion. I think he’s heartbroken over all the senseless killing and shooting, too!

And so, today, it’s quiet, though I’m AWARE, like half the city, of the potential for mayhem. Just three days ago a mom and her two year old child were shot while sitting in a car. BOOM. A toddler. Not much smaller that Beauty’s owner, I bet.

BTW: I have decided to name the little girl, BEAUTY.  She’s the real deal!

My landlord says: Don’t over think it, Rose. Do your thing. The unofficial Mayor of Green Island, Lorraine Laurie, says the same thing: Just run your life, Rose. It’s a gang thing – take it from your big sis!

I love Lorraine but she’s wrong.

It’s MY THING, TOO.

And yours.

We all have to take responsibility for the little kids in our struggling neighborhoods, though few do, which is the problem.

Two days ago I saw Beauty, and her owner and a new addition to the troops –  her teeny little brother – about three years old. Totally adorable! Like his sister, sweet and friendly in such a heartbreaking, tentative way… . He was walking Beauty! Not his sis! She was beside him, though, overseeing the walk. Very serious. To see such BEAUTY on parade in a hood like mine, in a world like ours, takes my breath away.

Running to them, over-joyed, I GUSHED: HI! I have so many great gifts for BEAUTY!

60 Providence St. – gangs, drugs, violence, guns (for YEARS!)

 By “Jane Doe”

Recently, there has been quite a bit of publicity about the gang activity and increasing violence centered around 60 Providence Street. Newspaper articles claim that police have been responding to complaints for the past two years. While it is true that crime has increased during this time, complaints have actually been made about that building for over ten years.

        I remember attending the opening meeting of the Providence Street Neighborhood Watch in winter of 2001 and hearing neighbors voice concerns about that property and some of the buildings in that area. People noticed that young men were meeting in front of 60 Providence Street selling drugs. Most of these men did not live in the building, but came from neighboring streets. Steve Patton from Worcester Common Ground was invited to one of the meetings to discuss solutions to the problem. One idea was to put up security cameras in hallways and entranceways. Things quieted down a bit but did not disappear entirely.

        A few years later, we noticed that PSP (Providence Street Posse) was being spray painted on some of the buildings, vacant and occupied, around the Harrison Street and Providence Street corner. Neighbors brought this to the Worcester Police gang unit’s attention at the crime watch meeting. We were told that this was not a recognized gang, but a bunch of young kids who were trying to play at being gang members. There was nothing to worry about.

         Over the past few years things have been getting worse. Gunshots are frequent. You can see drug dealers standing on the corners or walking up and down the streets. There have been drive-by shootings, fights and attempted robberies. The Providence Street Posse, gang member wannabes, are now moving into other parts of the city as full- fledged gang members. Now that this violence has moved into downtown Worcester, city officials are sitting up and taking notice.

         Many people feel that their complaints to police were ignored, but I don’t think this is true. Laws protecting the rights of the offenders often limit what police can do. Often police make arrests, just to have these criminals released back into the neighborhoods. Police cannot make arrests solely based on complaints. They usually have to catch drug dealers in the act. It takes time to build up a case to put these people away. In the meantime, this section of the city continues to get worse as gangs get more powerful and rival gangs move into the area. It is disheartening to hear people from other neighborhoods talk about your home as being in a “war zone.”

         Unfortunately, many of us feel like we are caught in a vicious cycle. As decent people get sick of the situation, they move out to safer communities. Those of us who cannot move live in fear of what will happen next. As decent people move out, more of the troublemakers move in. Violence escalates.

          I have no solutions. I wish laws were stricter, making it easier to arrest these criminals, put them away, and keep them away. I wish we could walk and drive through this neighborhood without fear of becoming victims. I especially wish landlords could be more careful about who moves into their buildings and be more aggressive in evicting troublemakers. In the meantime, many of us wish we could just get out. Too bad. This was once a nice middle class neighborhood, where people knew each other and looked out for one another. There was almost no crime. I wish we could go back to the way it was!

Meet your neighbors! Gerard “Jerry” Michaud

By Ron O’Clair
 
 
Gerard “Jerry” Michaud was the caretaker of the Notre Dame Des Canadiens Church located at Salem Square for many years, and has lived in my building (700 Main St. – across the street from the former PIP shelter) for a long time, as he says 8 years. He has been unable to get a good night’s rest for so long, he has taken to wearing ear plugs in his sleep.  
 
Jerry lives in the room overlooking “the action and hearing the commotion, 24/7/365 since the WPD has failed to address repeated pleas to halt the anti-social lawless behavior keeping poor “Jerry” awake, I thought I would interview him first. My questions are often long and probing deeply into the ground zero atmosphere of rampant lawlessness, this author’s battle to take the streets back, and the indifference heretofore experienced by a certain segment of the veteran officers of Chief Gary Gemme’s troops who acted knowingly, or inadvertently to help the crime wave prosper by lax enforcement of the little laws such as littering and jaywalking.  
 The answers are all the opinions of the respondents, in their own words.
 
The interview:
Q:  What brought you to the area of my concern, the 700 block of Main Street?
A:  Upon leaving my last address I had to find a p lace closer to my work.
Q:  Did you have reservations about moving into a rooming house located in one of the highest crime areas of the city of Worcester?
A: At the time I didn’t know much about the area, or its going ons.
Q:  Was I influential in your decision to move into the building?
A: Yes, you were, it seemed to be a good and safe place to live, and also a close place for my A.A. meetings held next door at Unity Hall on the 4th floor of the SMOC building that used to house the P.I.P. shelter.
Q:  So, my clean and sober living requirement appealed to you?
A: Yes, it did.
Q:  You’ve noticed quite a lot of criminal trespass, disturbance of the peace, assaultive behaviors, littering & loitering of our sidewalks in the past haven’t you?
A: Yes, in 8 ? years I’ve been here, crime and drug activities seemed to have risen.
Q:  Do you feel safe walking around the neighborhood – in the daylight? In the nighttime? How safe do you feel outside overall?
A: In the daylight I feel safe, but at night, I’ve been leery and very cautious, as I was once accosted near the Registry of Motor Vehicles on Main Street, at night.
Q: With all the security measures I have in place, and my own ability to handle what happens, as it happens, do you feel safe inside the building?
A: I feel safe in the building, since security measures have been implemented, this includes screening of all incoming tenants, and the “No visitor’s policy”
Q: As your building superintendent, have I done everything possible to provide you with a safe, secure, and comfortable place to reside? And do you feel safe with the “super” being on site 24/7/365?
A: Yes, you have since you involved the police with constant security watch.
Q: What do you think of my “shock and awe” campaign put into effect since the 30th day of July, and the resultant drop in the amount of criminal activity not being allowed by me to continue unabated? By my own efforts to not be intimidated by criminal minded citizens who have come to believe that this area is “their” turf, and they have every right to disturb the peace every night, deal drugs from the corners of Charlton & Wellington Streets, and generally think they are above the law?
A: Your campaign has had an impact on safety around here, especially in drug dealing – however, there is still prostituting going on daily. Your methods; with cooperation with police, has had a great change of scenery at 707 Main Street and the area of Charlton and Wellington streets.