A tale of two cities trying to cope with dramatic change in public spaces

By Josh Resnek

From time to time in the past Revere Beach has experienced violence and a bit of rioting by younger people from Boston who descend on the public beach to celebrate holiday weekends.

What tends to happen as it did several days ago at the beginning of thew long holiday weekend was the gathering of huge crowds of excited younger people who flocked to Revere to listen to loud music, to dance a bit, and sadly, to fight and trade gunshots.

Revere Beach reopened Monday. (Photo by Joe Resnek)

This will not go down well with Revere’s new residents or the owners of the new apartment developments spanning the beach.

Revere Beach is now the home to thousands of new residents in gorgeous waterfront units.

The city has taken great care in revamping the entire place.

But when gunshots ring out and several people are shot, that sends a chilling message.

Revere does not run or manage Revere Beach. That is the job of the State Police and the Department of Conservation and Recreation.

That state agency is now headed by former Revere mayor Brian Arrigo.

You can be sure many intense high level meetings will be taking place this week at Arrigo’s urging between him and acting Revere Mayor Patrick Keefe to tamp down the violence at Revere Beach. You can be sure Arrigo and Keefe will know exactly what to do.

The State Police contingent attempting to control huge crowds at the beach is woefully inadequate, and especially so when things get out of hand.

This became painfully obvious Sunday when several separate shootings left several people wounded, according to public safety officials.

Troopers responding to a reported shooting at 123 Centennial Ave. around 7 p.m. on Sunday found a 17-year-old girl who had suffered a gunshot wound to her lower body, according to state police. She was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital with a non-life-threatening injury.

A preliminary investigation suggests the girl was wounded while shots were being fired into a group of people during a fight and she was not the intended target, according to 7 News Boston.

Then, around 8 p.m., two victims were wounded in another shooting in the area of the bathhouse across from 63 Revere Beach Boulevard. A 51-year-old woman suffered gunshot wounds to her legs and was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital and a 17-year-old boy who was grazed by a gunshot declined to go to the hospital.

State Police are still investigating the incidents which have caused a wave of shock among residents of Revere, and especially among those living in new, higher priced ocean front apartment units on the beach.

Here in Everett, we have the same kind of difficulty controlling what goes on at Encore Casino and Hotel.

Since its opening and now into the maturing process the entertainment facility has experienced, the spate of highly public and disturbing incidents of violence at the casino and hotel have been brought under control by State Police and Everett Police working together.

For the most part, Encore Casino and Hotel is a safe place, made safe by a strong and active State Police presence and a special unit of Everett Police always patrolling the property along with private security.

Calm and safety prevails mostly at the Encore Boston Harbor Casino and Hotel in Everett. (Photo by Joe REsnek)

In fact, the casino and hotel are among the safest places in Massachusetts because there are so many cameras and surveillance and law officers mixing with the large crowds that descend on the place.

Everett’s new high end apartment house community is fairly immune from what happens at the casino. Just the same, new apartment dwellers here, and the owners of the apartment developments, demand safety and police presence and response as a matter of absolute necessity.

At the casino, this has taken place.
There are still many incidents at the casino and hotel.

This comes with the territory.

Wherever thousands of people get together to have some fun, there are always a few rotten apples trying to spoil it for everyone else.

Authorities have tamped down the bad behavior among the few misfits coming to Everett to entertain themselves at the casino.

State Police and Revere Police and the DCR must do the same along Revere Beach or the new image of the beach as a great location to live will be ruined – and that would be a financial disaster as well as a social disaster.

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