Two recent incidents in and near the Suffolk and Norfolk District have shaken neighbors due to their violent nature and disregard for human life. Neither a senseless murder for a pizza and one hundred dollars nor the execution-style murder of four individuals, including a toddler, can be tolerated in the City of Boston or anywhere.
I applaud Mayor Menino, Boston Police Commissioner Davis and District Attorney Conley for their swift condemnation and public statements in the aftermath of both crimes. I share their outrage and commitment to not let thugs and cowards terrorize us.
As I have campaigned throughout the district this year, too many police officers have told me that they are understaffed and potentially outgunned. I am committed to having the appropriate resources in place to maintain public safety and protect our men and women who put themselves in harmâ€™s way everyday.
I recently posted the following to my websiteâ€¦â€¦.
Public safety is a major concern for Massachusetts and one of mine as well. Unfortunately, police and firefighters often take the brunt of budget cuts. Cuts to these very basic public safety services put lives in danger and make our streets less safe for our children. I find it inexcusable that Massachusetts continues to cut local aid, forcing cities and towns to operate with understaffed public safety agencies. This problem is amplified in higher crime areas where understaffing leads to reduced response time and coverage.
A highly trained and educated police force is in the publicâ€™s best interest and I am in favor of the Quinn Bill. State funding for the Quinn Bill has been been cut recently unfairly impacting police officers more so than other state employees. Ultimately, the Commonwealth needs to reform its budget so these valuable services are not disturbed and towns can stop bearing all the cost. The bill is another unfortunate example of state government saying one thing and doing another.
The governor recently experimented with civilian flaggers at construction sites. The idea has merits but given the requirement of todayâ€™s prevailing wage laws, overall savings have been minimal. On the other hand, using police details puts police officers on the street. They can leave their detail and respond quickly to calls. I do believe, however, we need stricter guidelines for when police presence is truly needed at road work sites. As a state senator, I will be an honest broker for police officers as well as the taxpayers. I promise to sit down with police leadership in order to develop procedures for details that promote both public safety and efficiency.
I will fight for tougher mandatory penalties against repeat drunk drivers, drug dealers and those who commit crimes against children and the elderly. Moreover, I propose increasing the penalty for possession of an illegal gun to a mandatory 2 years instead of 1. Gang members often consider the 1 year sentence a way to increase “street cred” rather than a punishment. We must also improve our habitual offender laws so that repeat offenders stay off the streets.
Brad Williams is the Republican candidate for state senate in the Suffolk and Norfolk district. The Brad Williams Committee headquarters is located at 1864 Centre Street, Suite 4, West Roxbury, 02132. For more information on Brad Williams please go to www.bradwilliamsforsenate.com, www.facebook.com/Brad Williams for Senate and www.twitter.com/BradforSenate.