This newspaper got quite a few comments by email, phone calls and on our social media sites regarding the war of words taking place between Boston Police Commissioner William G. Gross and the ACLU and it was overwhelmingly in favor of the ‘Commish’. Commissioner Gross, affectionately known as ‘Willy’ by many of his colleagues, rank and file police officers and people in all of the city’s neighborhoods was criticized by the local chapter of ACLU and other activist groups for what they say is his ‘profiling’ of suspected gang members. The combined groups have filed a Public Records lawsuit against the department, because of what they say is the unfair targeting of various groups in the city.
We don’t have all the exact wording of the lawsuit, so I won’t get into the details of it, but let me be among literally thousands of Bostonians that have come down openly and publicly in support of the commissioner and in opposition to the ACLU’s criticism and add my name to the high praise this new commissioner so richly deserves.
Yes, Commissioner Gross has been identifying suspected gang members, who have been on police radar for quite some time. He has declared war on the gangs in this city, including the notorious MS-13 gang to the delight of most. This is a man who came up through the ranks in the department, knows the streets of Boston like the back of his hand and is highly respected in every neighborhood of the city, all of which he feels very comfortable in, especially since he has been made to feel welcome in every one of them.
He puts his heart and soul into his job, is held in high esteem and respected by the members of the department and is willingly on call 24/7. But what has also earned him respect is his willingness to speak out on the tough issues and not be cowed by political correctness.
Like many large cities, Boston has a gang problem and a drug problem. And he just doesn’t talk about these issues, he takes the actions he feels are needed to deal directly and effectively with them with the ultimate goal of solving the problems. Now, by bluntly speaking out about the gang and drug problem and openly laying out what he feels needs to be done to solve them, he rubs some influential people the wrong way. They don’t seem to like it. But Commissioner Gross doesn’t let this frighten him or deter him from doing his job and a good job it is that he’s doing.
He has a refreshing style and he is appreciated by most Bostonians because people know his goal is their public safety. Keep up the great work you are doing Commissioner. Your efforts continue to make this city a better place to live. And don’t let the detractors get to you. They are few in number, as the outpouring of support you’ve received clearly shows.
Well, the Black Friday shopping frenzy has come and gone and seems to get crazier every year nationwide. Riots at shopping malls, gunshots, assaults, screaming, yelling, grown adults brawling on department store floors over a sweater or a flat screen like it was a blood sport, it’s all quite entertaining. But I guess some people just feel the need to get physical in an effort to work off all that Thanksgiving turkey. Hey, whatever makes them happy?
THANK YOU SBCA!
I’d like to close this week’s column with a special heartfelt and very sincere Thank You to the students at South Boston Catholic Academy for the big, beautiful Happy Thanksgiving card they hand made and sent to my home. It was signed by the students and included photos and drawings. On it was written the following:
“Dear Mr. Ciccone, Thank you and the staff at South Boston Today for doing such a wonderful job of including our school in your weekly newspaper. Happy Thanksgiving to all! From all of us at South Boston Catholic Academy”
It was easy to see that a lot of work and thought went into this awesome card and I was honored to receive it. I will frame it and cherish it. Again – THANK YOU!