Thursday, July 7, 2011

Brockton Police Chief Urges Calm In Wake Of West Elm Shootings

By Lisa E. Crowley
BROCKTON—Brockton Police Chief William Conlon said his officers as well as State Police have taken steps to curtail increases in violence during the summer months, including the potential for retaliation after a double murder over the July 4th weekend involving known drug dealers and gang members.
“When you have situations like this it’s often what you don’t see, what is happening behind the scenes—a lot of the times what’s behind the scenes is what’s really going on—finding out who is responsible for it,” Conlon said.
In the wake of the killings of 24-year-old Valter Monteiro (Pictured above) and 21-year-old Adilson Tavares, Conlon said police are reaching out to family and friends of the two victims to not take any kind of action or retaliation against anyone distraught relatives or friends might think were responsible for the shooting and crash into a parked vehicle at 426 West Elm St.
“As far as we’re concerned it’s not a random act. We want to bring these people to justice and while we’re doing that we want to prevent any sort of retaliation by those who may have a propensity to lash out, or retaliate,” Conlon said.
“If their friends perceive a rival gang was responsible for this…even the perception is enough for someone to retaliate and retaliation leads to more retaliation. Why complicate the situation. We urge them to stay calm and it’s not always easy,” Conlon said.
Friends and family of Monteiro and Tavares have left flowers, candles, notes and other objects as a makeshift memorial around the tree next to the driveway at 426 West Elm St. where the car the two were driving smashed into the homeowner's parked vehicle.
While some of the steps being taken are behind the scenes, what people will see is an increased presence of Brockton and State Police canvassing the city streets, in part because of an expected increase in crime during the summer months, including more patrols for the Brockton Fair which wraps up Sunday.
Also, marked cruisers from the State Police’s specialized anti-crime unit Community Action Team, or CAT, have been deployed throughout the city.
Conlon said last week’s Operation Street Sweeper II that resulted in the arrests of 28 alleged crack, cocaine and heroin dealers and in many cases put them behind bars for, hopefully, extended lengths of time is another step in trying to prevent problems before they become bigger problems--such as the weekend's homicide.
Conlon said Brockton was one of 15 Massachusetts cities or towns that had shootings or murders, including four in Boston and the suspected strangling of a Wayland teenager by her former high school sweetheart and football star.
Conlon, 57, last week announced he would retire at the end of the year after 26 years on the Brockton Police Department and six as chief.
He said six years as chief is enough.
Conlon said in October his pension will max out, the economic situation and staffing levels look like they won’t be getting better, so he will take the opportunity to max out, too.
“It looks like a good time to move on and do something else,” Conlon said.
He said the department has 173 members and for a city the size of Brockton, about 95,000 people, the police department should have about 230 to 240 officers.
He said the department has not rebounded from layoffs in the 1990s when the force lost more than 30 officers, and he is amazed and proud at how much officers do—in large part because of overtime, which has members “work, work, and work.”

No comments:

Post a Comment