Blog city here I am. I have survived another edition of the Boston Carribean Festival, perhaps the biggest street party in Boston. For one day the city blocks off Blue Hill Avenue and Franklin Park and allows people to get crazy. And boy do they ever! Even in 100+ degree heat, thousands showed up to march in the parades [two of them!] and just have fun. Costumes were plentiful; some of the paraders were carrying 30 pounds of decorations on their backs.
Yes we had a few problems with crowds and there were 3 stabbing incidents. We also interfered with several attempts at shootings by gang members who we identified and suppressed. We had foot patrols, cruisers, horses, bicycles and motorcycles. We had Fire and EMS on foot and on bikes to rapidly respond as needed. Most of the problems were medical: people falling over in the heat.
Yours truly found himself in the dispatch command chair for the whole event, about fourteen hours total. Breaks were few, lunch was impossible. Multiple radio channels and video surveillance were very useful. The Unified Command Center was active and running, allowing multiple agencies to coordinate their efforts. I have no problem circulating among command level personnel.
It all washed out at the end when the Incident Commander came by to shake my hand and thank me for my efforts. Police Superintendents arent typically known to be warm and fuzzy. Its amazing how much a simple "thank you" means. Mission accomplished; everybody went home safe.
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