THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

$900k for police but what about teens?

July 20, 2010

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IN FRIDAY’S Metro section the top story was about police supervisors’ 14 percent salary increase, about $900,000 in total, if Mayor Tom Menino approves it as expected. Their pay will then be “on par’’ with officers they supervise. Sounds fair. Same day, same page: two young people arraigned in the shooting death of a Dorchester teen who, according to a prosecutor, had no gang ties or involvement in disputes.

When I grew up in Roxbury, Boston had serious crime, but fatal shootings were relatively rare. Kids didn’t take their lives in their hands each time they left their homes.

The current base pay for police superintendents and deputy superintendents is $113,000 to $137,000. There are times, this spike in youth violence is one, when fairness must yield to profound justice. If $900,000 can be found in the midst of the worst recession since the Depression, then Boston should spend it on youth education, mentoring, recreation, job preparation, and job creation.

Police, parents, social workers, and others do know that $900,000 is a just drop in the bucket to aid young people.

Mary Lynch Mobilia Sharon

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