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Only four arrests, but twice as many public-drinking tickets as last year at St. Patrick's parade

Boston Police report arresting four alleged lunkheads for lunkhead-type behavior during yesterday's extended-version St. Patrick's Day parade - none from anywhere near South Boston.

Police add, however, that officers wrote out twice as many tickets for public drinking - 498 in all - as they did at last year's winter-shrunken parade. In a statement, Police Commissioner and South Boston native William Evans said:

Issuing nearly double the amount of citations for public drinking compared to last year evidences the challenges we faced in keeping public order at this family event. I want to thank all of those who braved the cold and came out and celebrated responsibly.

UPDATE: BPD said there were five arrests, but the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports one of the arrests does not appear to have had anything to do with the parade:

WILLIAM BRONSKE (DOB 4/7/97) of North Quincy, charged with malicious destruction of property. Bronske was arrested by Boston Police officers assigned to the parade, but his offense does not appear to be connected with the day’s festivities; he is accused of throwing a propane tank through the window of a Dorchester Street residence in an apparent dispute over an earlier drug sale. He was released on his own recognizance and ordered to return to court on May 19.

Innocent, etc.

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Clearly the solution is to legalize public drinking.

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There were quite a few stories last week about the fact that with the NCAA tournament in town and St. Patrick's Day coinciding, the fact that Providence was not going to enforce its open container law for a few blocks around the arena and surrounding restaurants was revolutionary.

Not one the morning after that suggests that the result was cataclysmic.

The idea that they should just lift the open container law enforcement in a 1-2 block radius around the parade and just ask that everyone use plastic cups or aluminum cans (to reduce the risk of broken glass) isn't all that foreign. Sure we might get some revenue from 500 open container violations, but clearly 500 violations didn't translate to a huge upswing in arrestable offenses. So, what good was handing out the tickets other than to do a morality crackdown on drinking in public?

Think of all the cops that could be freed up and cost the city far less money (which *they* made a big deal about in wanting to shorten the parade and using the cost of law enforcement as the excuse). Instead of shortening the parade, shorten the amount of police necessary by allowing open containers for a few hours one day a year in a very controlled range of blocks around the parade and let everyone just have a good time...without handing out tickets for having done so.

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so long as enough police are available to arrest those like the 'Irish' drunks who knocked down my fence on Sunday, while utterly blasted off their asses in the middle of the day.

Then they tried to steal a construction bollard, then one of them fell into the street, then they started angrily yelling at cars.

And we're not even on the parade route.

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Legalizing public drinking would be a good idea only as long as public intoxication was still an offense.

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And maybe freeing up their time from writing tickets for intoxication would allow them to do a better job patrolling around the area

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The city should just decide whether drinking at the parade is OK or not. Accept responsibility either way. Not this have it be officially non-drinking, wink wink.

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I highly doubt that open container laws have anything to do with the people who destroyed your fence. Drunk assholes have been destroying property since the dawn of times regardless of where they got drunk.

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to move the parade out of SoBo and downtown or the South Shore....or better ye: just cancel it all together!

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Let's just have the parade on the 17th as we used to. I don't think too many party people would be willing to take a day off work (if they work) to get drunk on the streets of my neighborhood.

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This is sad. I'm sorry for you. I live in a medium sized condo building, no yard or outdoor space, but we hired private security at our own expense for parade day.

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If you did this you'd need MORE police. It's clear there are some people who can't drink responsibly, even when it's legal.

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Actually, legalizing public drinking would *decrease* the problem. It turns out that when you hand out high fines and arrest people for having booze in public, they "pre-game" heavier when they know they can drink legally and get overly drunk to remain drunk while they are out in public where they can't drink legally. They drink harder alcohol and more of it when they are indoors, then go outdoors and become drunken trouble.

When drinking isn't stigmatized, then people do it with less binging and less of it.

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this is exactly what i did back in the day

although, its worth mentioning, its pretty ridiculously easy to drink in public without getting caught in boston

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I was in Providence. Mostly tourists and basketball fans.

Like the marathon route, some areas of Boston do not have alcohol enforcement, while others (Autobon Circle towards Kenmore) had some enforcement based on previous incidents involving parties that got out of control.

At the end of the day the police do what the residents of South Boston want them to do, and that is keep obvious disorderly people in check. People who walk around with red cups that look like they have their faculties together aren't bothered. Those who are screaming with bud light bottles in their hands and have puke all over their "Fuck me I'm Irish" shirts are targeted. Selective enforcement 101.

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The public drinking is inevitable, so I guess that as long as the arrests are down then for the most part everything went smoothly.

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What about the idiots that damaged the fence of the poster above?

The parade serves 3 groups of people:

1. Suburbanite HS kids.
2. 20-something yuppies that got priced out of SoBo and now live in Dorchester.
3. Townies that got priced out of SoBo and live on the South Shore.

What do all 3 groups have in common? none of them actually live in South Boston.

Cancel this effing parade!!!!!

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You're absolutely right.....but please stop referring to Southie as SoBo. Just stop.

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Agreed, it's basically bar-hopping twentysomethings from the city or near suburbs putting on stupid green beads and other stuff(look at my Celtics shirt, I haven't worn it in months!) for a few hours. I was occupied with hockey all weekend(how 'bout them NU Huskies!), didn't care at all about the parade or St. Pat's Day or anything green.

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Will you ever answer the question of why you insist on imposing on people to calling Southie, SoBo?

Year ago, it felt like a tongue-in-cheek joke. Later a jab at crass townies. But these days you seem to just want to force it down - arriving in and imposing it. Never responding to why you insist to follow a marketing scheme by a bunch of realtors to make New Yorkers feel more comfortable by a familiar naming convention over agreed convention that organically developed by the large majority in the area.

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Move to Somerville and over-pay for a piece of a building THERE (don't worry its already WELL gentrified). Then you can bitch about the Fluff Festival or HONK!-fest.
If you don't like parades, noise, trash, excitement, etc you should move even further SOBO, like to the 'burbs!

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I wish they'd move this parade to the South Shore, since that seems to be where all the old time Southie folks are living now.

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is that there weren't more tickets for public urination. I moved from E st about 10 years ago, but my buddy still lived there, and it was great to have an apartment to run back to to use the bathroom. This year, I found myself ducking in alleys, which were soaked in piss.

This new years I had the opportunity to go to Philly for Mummers Day Parade, and the whole time I thought "Boston would never EVER do this or be able to pull this off." Open drinking for miles and miles. Smiling cops. (GASP) Porta-johns EVERYWHERE. What a novel idea, give people a place to piss! And Philly is a much bigger city with just as many fiscal issues as Boston.
Every business in Southie has "NO RESTROOMS" signs up, bars charge a $20 cover, and residents like this "Sobo" DB whine that their neighborhood is in ruins. Cry me a river! Boston still needs to learn how to party after all these years! Just incapable of putting on a good time for their residents without mountains of bullshit in the way. You'd think with so many colleges in the area pumping out PR majors desperate for an event coodinator job the city might hire one!

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Parade organizers pay for the porta-potties, as well as chip in on police OT/details.

There is a well-documented history that this parade involves costs that many other events do not have. Time for them to do their part to mitigate.

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Also why is it, this is the only parade they hand out these tickets like crazy. People drink at the Dominican Festival and cops dont say a thing.

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Sources?

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Man, I will *never* get tired of folks who get all butthurt when the overwhelmingly-white parade and its attendees garner some public-drinking tickets, while simultaneously demonstrating that they've never been within a half-mile of the Dominican Parade.

Hint: the cops don't walk around handing out citations at the Dominican Parade. They show up en masse, in riot gear, with helicopters in the air above them. But I'm sure that has nothing to do with the respective racial makeup of the two events.

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I went to the parade yesterday for the first time in ... thirty years? I don't remember anything about my last time except playing cards in the back of some bar. I remember a bit more about this time.

I went to W Broadway at D Street. Very busy. Mostly twenty-somethings, I guess. It was 2:30, so really, I didn't see probably 3/4s of the whole parade? By the time I arrived the alcohol was showing on just about anyone and everyone.

Between D Street and Broadway's intersection with Dorchester Street I saw 3 fights. Not just pushing around but some serious pummeling. The crowd egged them on each time and cellphone videos were being made. Each was broken up quickly by a BPD officer and the brawlers pushed off in different directions.

Several people puking, peeing, and a young woman being put on a stretcher and into an ambulance, drunk from the looks of it.

I walked up over Strawberry Hill down to K Street in search of a liquor store. (Natch.) Crowd thinned out down here, I was walking faster than the parade was going, even with the huge crowds.

I walked up to Telegraph Hill after I bought my liquor and was able to watch pretty much everything I had already seen since the parade goes all the way to the Bay before circling back.

Shortening the parade route seems unrealistic - how do you crowd control it? As many people along the entire route then shoved into half the space? I think the genie is already out of the bottle. The city should make short- and long-term plans to make it easier on police and the community, maybe, but there has to be a buy-in.

The party I went to was nice. Apparently we had a rap battle / slam poetry competition.

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There is no Strawberryhill in South Boston.

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There's a condo building up at (540) E Broadway & H Street called the Strawberry Hill building; I guess I always assumed it was referencing the hill itself. My bad.

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That sounds like something a developer or real estate agent dreamed up. The hill you're talking about was called 'Pill Hill' for many years.
Many doctor's and dentist's had offices up there.

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Issuing nearly double the amount of citations for public drinking compared to last year evidences the challenges we faced in keeping public order at this family event.

Does it, though? If you issued nearly 500 citations and there were five arrests, maybe public drinking is not completely synonymous with lack of public order.

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Twice as many arrests last year during the shortened parade-

From 2015:
https://twitter.com/bostonpolice/status/577215282604822528

Police arrested more people at this year's St. Patrick's Day Parade than they did last year while issuing fewer citations.

Boston police, as of 5:10 p.m. Sunday, report 10 people were arrested and another 278 citations were issued during this year's parade. As suspected, most of the arrests and citations were related to public drinking.

Police arrested five people – only three for drinking in public – and issued a total 293 citations at the 2014 parade.

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I read a report (Herald? Globe?) that said something like +480 were issued. I thought that sounded high.
I spoke to one officer who issued over two dozen citations for open container violations. He told me out of all of those there was one Boston resident from the Mission Hill neighborhood. All the rest lived outside of Boston.
I don't know how many actual arrests were made. It seemed kind of quiet compared to some years. I did see my share of drunken clowns acting stupid. I wonder if they'd do this in their hometown?

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I just read an email from Kerry Ryan, Director of Community Engagement for the Boston Police Department.
She posted on nextdoor.com that there were five arrests (none from South Boston or Boston even). Five licensed establishments were cited (NFI) and 498 citations were issued for violating the open container law. They carry a $200 fine.
I couldn't think of an idea that would cause more problems than allowing people to openly consume alcohol on the day of the parade in South Boston. One can make all the seemingly logical arguments to support it, but after witnessing illogical behavior over the years from people who come here, it won't work.

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$100k in fines for basically doing nothing but hassling people...why would the city wanna make drinking at the parade ok when you can bring in that kind of scratch to cover the police details.

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Arrests cost money - tickets make money.

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Where are the arrest numbers from the Transit cops? South Station alone was a mess after the parade. Lots of fights being broken up. The fights are nothing compared to this...
http://www.tpdnews411.com/2016/03/north-attleboro-man-arrested-for.html?m=1

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