Mayor Admits Local Gang Problem; Clarifies on Stratigies and Solutions

A seemingly benign resolution offered by Alderwoman Millie Cardello and Councilwoman Rosa DiFlorio on Monday night to ask the Chief of Police and Mayor Carlo DeMaria’s office to participate in a discussion about “re-instating a fully staffed gang unit,” may have resulted in one of the more unexpected admissions, when Mayor DeMaria took to the podium and stated that a recent string of local violent crimes all appear to have ties to gang activity in the city.

That information in and of itself is not really news to anyone who lives near where those crimes took place or listens to a scanner. However, given the lack of information that has been shared by local police and the Middlesex District Attorney’s office about the two shootings a stabbing and an armed robbery in the city in the past six weeks, the mayor’s candor seems all the more impressive.

“We do have a problem with MS13 and Honduran gangs in the city,” said the mayor. “They had been very passive the last few years and have started to be more active lately.”

However, he was also trying to clear up some misinformation and misrepresentations that had been made to Alderwoman Cardello and others.

“But, we don’t just have two people on our gang unit,” said the mayor, responding to a statement made by Cardello. “All of our detectives are part of the gang task force. . .and we have partnerships with (detectives units) in neighboring cities,” which help the city address gang activity as it crops up.

Ultimately, the resolution to ask for feedback was referred to the Public Safety Committee, which is where these concerns are likely to be addressed and answered.

However, it is important to note that Everett detectives have been working with detectives from Chelsea, Lynn, Malden, Revere, Saugus and Winthrop in recent years on gang issues and drug investigations, both as part of the Shannon Grant gang task force and the Metro Northeast Drug Task Force.

The mayor also noted that for the four most recent incidents, “all the players have been apprehended,” and “ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) has detained them.”

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