Authorities are beefing up security on the Common — including around-the-clock patrols and permanent surveillance cameras — in the wake of a brazen daylight shooting that sent visitors scrambling for safety and had neighbors and park caretakers sounding the alarm.
“It’s a comprehensive approach,” police department spokesman Lt. Michael McCarthy told the Herald yesterday. “We are trying different things to make sure we address community concerns.”
In response to the shooting, McCarthy said there will now be two uniformed police officers on walking beats, around-the-clock in three eight-hour shifts, at both the Common and the Public Garden.
Police are also going to increase drug enforcement in and around the Common and the Public Garden, McCarthy said, which means authorities will be cracking down on the use and sale of all drugs — including marijuana.
“It will be a zero-tolerance approach to violations, whether it’s smoking, or the sale and distribution of marijuana,” he said. “If that is witnessed, or observed, our undercover officers will act on that. We are not taking this lightly. There will be some changes made down there.”
The increased security measures also means adding surveillance cameras, “similar to the ones we used during the Free Speech Rally,” McCarthy said, referring to the protests that took place on the Common Aug. 19.
Currently there are no cameras on the Common itself, McCarthy said, adding that current surveillance is isolated to surrounding streets. The cameras will be installed, “within the next few days,” he said.
“Any additional eyes and ears we have can only benefit what we’re trying to do, and that’s trying to make it as safe as it can be,” McCarthy said. “We expect it will have an impact on the quality of life issues that the community has raised as an issue.”
Former commissioner Ed Davis lauded the idea of adding cameras, saying it’s a good way to police a large, open area like the Common.
“It’s a complex issue that can probably be solved with more technology,” Davis said regarding how to police the Common. “It seems that this particular area is more conducive to technology instead of a big influx of personnel.”
To bolster the other security measures, the MBTA will increase its police presence at the stations at Park Street and Boylston Street, and Park Rangers will increase patrols, McCarthy said.
The new security measures come after a shooting by the Parkman…