By Seth Daniel
A controlled explosion at 7-Acre Park last Weds., Jan. 18, of some 43 explosive devices confiscated after the recent arrest of an Everett man has some questioning the decision and City officials saying they will do a better job of communicating any such detonations in the future.
Mayor Carlo DeMaria said the explosions were critically important, but that the City could have done a better job informing residents, and would do so in the future.
“On Jan. 18, the Massachusetts State Police Bomb Squad and Everett Police conducted a controlled explosion of some seized explosive materials from an arrest earlier in the week,” said the mayor in a statement. “The items that were deemed to unstable too transport or store, were safely destroyed and rendered harmless in a controlled detonation at 7-Acre Park. This was a potential dangerous situation and needed to be done and was conducted in the proper manner by the State and Everett Police Departments. However, the public was not informed that the controlled detonation was going to take place and should have been. I want to personally apologize for any inconvenience or alarm this may have caused.”
Councilor Michael McLaughlin, who represents the 7-Acre Park area, said he was disappointed by the decision to go forward with the explosion before using Reverse 9-1-1 or social media. He said he got several call immediately from constituents who were scared and disturbed.
“Someone decided to release these bombs without first notifying a close-knit neighborhood with a reverse 9-1-1 phone call or by using social media,” said Councilor Michael McLaughlin, who represents the area. “We have used both of these mechanisms for every matter that you could think of across the city in the past nine years. Many times, we use it for reasons that aren’t even necessary, but the fact that we had a serious matter on hand, and we choose not to use the same sort of mechanism to notify the neighborhood is unsettling and dissatisfying to me a resident and City Councilor.”
Police were called to an Everett address on Weds., Jan. 18, for a domestic disturbance last week that resulted in the discovery of a cache of explosives, including M-80s, quarter sticks of dynamite, construction materials, fuses and one pound of gunpowder. A man was arrested in the incident and police confiscated the explosives.
Everett Police called in the State Police Bomb Squad to assist in transporting the materials to the nearest open space and to conduct an explosion of those materials.
As it happened, the nearest open space to the scene of the crime was 7-Acre Park. Police said it was theirs and the opinion of the State Police that would be the safest course of action.
Police said the Everett Dispatch notified surrounding communities and National Grid and N-Star/Eversource of the impending detonation Wednesday night. Police said they had even sent cruisers into the surrounding neighborhood with loudspeakers on to warn those in their homes about the explosions.
They detonated approximately 43 completed devices, including M-80s, quarter sticks, fuses, construction materials and a pound on explosive powder.
Due to the fact that there was a light mist and low cloud cover that night, the shock from the explosion stayed low to the ground and spread out laterally, perhaps attracting more attention than had it been a clear night.
However, police said there were no injuries or damage to property.
On it’s Facebook page, the Everett Police did apologize for any problems the explosion might have caused.
“The department apologizes for any inconvenience or alarm this may have caused,” read a posting from Thursday, Jan. 19.