South Boston residents, police, and non-profits are bracing for the influx of trash, noise, disturbances, violence, and alcohol abuse that often accompany the St. Patrick's Day parade.
Last year, police issued 244 citations for drinking in public and arrested eight, according to the Globe. That number was down from the 363 citations issued and 11 arrested in 2011 and officers said Friday that they won’t be letting off.
Close to 30 residents and service providers filled the Lincoln Restaurant on West Broadway on Friday to share their game plans for Sunday's parade. Although many said they still love the holiday, they were concerned about the drinking that happens in the neighborhood both by long-time residents and rowdy college students.
“We want this to be a place where families can come and feel safe,” said Kay Walsh, director of South Boston CAN Reduce Underage Drinking.
Family Zones have been established by the group and members will be out in the neighborhood working with other residents to spot trouble, help police, and make sure everyone, not just the bar patrons, are enjoying themselves safely.
Like in years past, BPD will swarm the streets of South Boston over the weekend, making stops at past trouble spots and making sure residents are aware of the laws, especially those regulating open containers and roof decks; last year a young man almost died when he fell off the roof of a G Street home.
“Our whole policy is we don’t want anyone hurt or any activity that’s disturbing the quality of life, so we’re going to step it up,” Evans told the residents.
In addition to a massive show of force for the parade Sunday, BPD will be working with bars and liquor stores to control their patrons and close up shop early.
Liquor stores will be shuttered at 4 p.m. Sunday and bars will hold last call at 7 p.m., said Evans.
“We don’t want alcohol to be flowing so freely that day,” Evans said.
In additions to the closing times officers will be out on bikes checking back streets and using cameras positioned throughout the neighborhood to target trouble spots.
For more information about the parade, where to get the best view, or details on the day, be sure to check out Boston.com's Parade Guide.