A Police Officer is a Person In Your Neighborhood

boston_cop.jpgTimes are changing at the Boston Police Department. Instead of installing Boston officers behind the wheel of a cruiser, Police Commissioner Ed Davis has sent officers out to walk the streets they patrol. Crazy as it sounds, it seems to be working.

Peter Gelzinis tagged along with the commish as he walked around Dorchester to check in with the Safe Streets officers. According to Gelzinis, residents are happy to have the teams of four to six officers in the neighborhood.

“Thank You” were the two words Davis kept hearing Friday night, relayed from cops stationed in and around Codman and Egleston squares. The gratitude came from shop owners along Washington Street who felt they now had some leverage against kids roosting outside their businesses. And from residents who’ve begun to feel as if they can navigate their way to a half-gallon of milk without having to take a gut check.

It was a bit of good press for the BPD in the wake of more random shootings and an emerging feud with Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley. The community policing initiatives do appear to be working. Yesterday, Commissioner Davis and Mayor Menino announced that nine new teams will be assigned to foot patrols in other high-crime areas, like Eagle Hill in East Boston and Downtown Crossing.