Council Endorses Extra Cameras at City Parks After Shooting

A number of Haverhill city councilors appeared with officials at Monday’s press conference at Swasey Field. Pictured, from left, Councilors Andy Vargas and William J. Macek, Deputy Police Chief Anthony Haugh and Councilor Thomas J. Sullivan. In the rear is Haverhill Police Captain Robert P. Pistone.

The Haverhill City Council unanimously “supports and endorses the action and plans of the mayor and the police department to address the concerns at Swasey and any other community parks and playgrounds.”

Haverhill City Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua.

Haverhill City Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua.

By an 8 to 0 vote, councilors backed the resolution from Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua following an update on added security measures at Swasey Field.  The discussion, under a suspension of the rules, came in conjunction with an agenda item, asking the mayor purchase additional cameras “for all major parks and recreational areas.” In response, Mayor James J. Fiorentini said more cameras are or will be in place for an anticipated resumption of league or school baseball, among other sports.

“Police Chief DeNaro, who’s done an outstanding job addressing this incident, had people up installing a better camera in the area by the basketball courts and installing another camera in a nearby area. I forget how many this brings into the park but whatever it is – three or four -  another one was installed tonight. There is a mobile ATV (all-terrain vehicle) that’ll be parked up there during the games. And that ATV will have cameras on it and take a 360-degree picture.

The agenda item was placed last week, prior to Saturday’s shooting at Swasey Field.

Haverhill Police Cbief Alan R. DeNaro said officials are seeking to have a 16-year-old male juvenile accused in Saturday’s shooting near Swasey Field tried as an adult. The suspect was arraigned earlier Tuesday in juvenile court on charges including assault to murder while armed. DeNaro added the department will continue its anti-gang activity strategies to “systematically go at those gangs and dismantle them and incarcerate those involved.”

“Between (2014) and (2015) we arrested over a hundred gang members on multiple charges. Some of the investigations were on the north side of eight months to complete. Because a lot of them are very difficult and comprehensive. They also involve multi-jurisdictions, multi-agencies, they do take a considerable amount of time and manpower but we’re okay with that. Gangs are a priority. Usually when gangs commit crimes they’re violent in nature, a lot of times they’re against themselves. So we take it very seriously, we will continue to take it seriously,” DeNaro said.

Councilor Thomas J. Sullivan said neighbors and others told him, in addition to dealing with gang activity near Swasey and other parks, there also appears to be “a lack of respect in the parks by those not necessarily playing games.”

“What they’re doing is they’re interfering with games because they’re walking through the fields. They’re walking through the diamonds, the parents aren’t paying attention and it’s a real free-for-all sometimes out there. And I don’t know what that solution is because how do you tell parents to make their children behave without, perhaps, someone retaliating against you – “How dare you talk about my child like that” – and next thing you know you might have another incident going on. Who knows?” Sullivan said.

Meanwhile, Councilor William J. Macek called the shooting near Swasey “our nine eleven because it will never be the same.” He said, in addition to a “ramp up” by police, cameras are needed “three sixty” at all city parks to “prove to people that was a once in a lifetime occurrence.”

“Every angle, every inch of our park areas should be covered so that we can have the advantage that we had, fortunately, when the incident occurred the other afternoon. And I guess somebody said earlier, ‘What about our privacy?’ Well you can’t do anything anymore, you can’t go pump gas, you can’t go to the bank, you can’t go buy a donut without being on camera.  If we have to put up a sign that says, ‘If you’re in this park you’re on camera,’ so be it,” Macek said.

Councilor Colin F. LePage was absent.

3 thoughts on “Council Endorses Extra Cameras at City Parks After Shooting

  1. Chief DeNaro…thank you to you and the HPD for the job you do…it’s a tough one. It must be especially tough personally because in situations like this you have to bite your tongue from telling the truth of what the real problem is…out of control liberal public policies at both the local and state level in Massachusetts. Reading your comment here Chief requires quite a bit of dissection to really understand what you’re dealing with.

    Most of the gangs in Haverhill have originated or are off-shoots of gangs from Lawrence, and many are combatants of each other. The gangs in Lawrence are now multi-generational as a result of liberal policies that has allowed for criminal trespassers from other countries to invade that city over decades. They’ve done so as a result of liberal public policy that provides for their very subsistence through multiple welfare, healthcare and child support programs. Lawrence city councilors and liberal mayor Daniel Rivera, recently voted to officially declare itself a sanctuary city, thereby protecting people found to be in that city illegally from deportation. In Lawrence the invasion is complete. With the liberal public policies at the state level to provide the economic resources for these trespassers and their children to live in this country, and local public officials advocating for, and enacting public policy to protect their right to “criminally” live in the city all hope for turning the situation around there is lost forever. Unfortunately, the affects of all those insane liberal public policies are spilling out into surrounding communities…this is just the latest incident. Statistically, The City of Lawrence “averages” one armed robbery per DAY. Haverhill has actually been very lucky a shooting like this hasn’t happened sooner.

    For Haverhill and its proud liberal mayor, this is just another day to grandstand to make it look like he is actually doing something positive for the city in reaction to this incident. As shootings occur and drugs ruin a generation of kids from the criminal trespassing invaders distributing it through Lawrence he’ll be installing more cameras and increasing more patrols, all the time ignoring the root cause of why this happens in the first place, right mayor?

    And there’s Haverhill’s newest proud liberal official Acorn Andy. How’s liberalism look on the front lines, Andy?