CITY OF WORCESTER

Public Safety Committee Meeting

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Levi Lincoln (North) Chamber

Convened: 5:35 P.M.

Adjourned: 7:50 P.M.


Mayor
Joseph M. Petty

 

www.worcesterma.gov

 

Clerk of the City Council
Nikolin Vangjeli

Committee Members

Chairperson Kathleen M Toomey
Vice Chairperson Morris A Bergman
Councilor Luis A Ojeda
 

City Hall - 455 Main Street Worcester, Massachusetts


Present Were:Chairperson Councilor Kathleen M. Toomey Councilor Morris A. Bergman Councilor Luis A. Ojeda
 
Also:Executive Director of the Worcester Public Library Jason Homer Director of Emergency Communications and Management Charles R. Goodwin Interim Police Chief Paul B. Saucier WPD Lieutenant Sean Murtha Fire Chief Martin W. Dyer Assistant Chief of Operations Gary Arpin Assistant Chief of Administration and Support Adam Roche Commissioner of Inspectional Services Christopher P. Spencer Deputy City Clerk Clare M. Robbins, clerk
 
1.

Virtual Attendee Call-In Information

1a.

Pursuant to Chapter 20 of the Acts of 2021 and in order to ensure active, public engagement, the City of Worcester currently allows for both in-person and remote participation at all City Council and Standing Committee meetings. To partake in the meeting, you may attend the meeting in-person within the meeting location, follow the below link to join via Zoom or dial the direct line as indicated.

Public Safety Committee Zoom Link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/87545787380
Public Safety Committee Zoom Phone Number: (929) 205 6099
Public Safety Committee Zoom Access Code: 875 4578 7380

Attachments
2.

Approval of the Minutes

2a.

Order - That the City Council Standing Committee of Public Safety hereby approves the minutes of the Public Safety Committee meeting on March 14, 2024.

View Agenda

Chairperson Councilor Toomey read the item and moved for a roll call vote to adopt the item. Order adopted on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays.

3.

Communication of the City Manager - Inspectional Services Department

3a.

Transmitting informational communication relative to Status of 2 Gage Street, Worcester, MA. # 9.16A CM April 2, 2024

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Toomey read the item and recognized the Commissioner of Inspectional Services, who provided an overview of the status of 2 Gage St., including the process relative to rebuilding a property after a fire or demolition, the progress made at the property, the process relative after providing an order to remedy unsafe conditions, and additional options moving forward with zoning relief pertaining to the item.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey recognized Councilor Bergman, who spoke concerning the property being uninsured and the process relevant to ensuring the percentage of uninsured properties in the city become insured with the Commissioner of Inspectional Services.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager request Commissioner of Inspectional Services provide City Council with a report concerning best practices used by other communities to incentivize property owners of uninsured properties to become insured.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey recognized Councilor Ojeda, who spoke concerning the hazards of the property and the process relevant to ensuring the property is safe with the Commissioner of Inspectional Services.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey spoke concerning the leading positions assigned to the project relevant to the property with the Commissioner of Inspectional Services.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey moved to recommend the item be held.

Recommend Hold

Chairman's Orders

Request City Manager request Commissioner of Inspectional Services provide City Council with a report concerning best practices used by other communities to incentivize property owners of uninsured properties to become insured.

4.

Communication of the City Manager - Worcester Public Library

4a.

Transmitting informational communication relative to the services provided to and needs of the vulnerable population at the Worcester Public Library. # 11.24A CM March 12, 2024

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Toomey read the item and recognized the Executive Director of the Worcester Public Library, who discussed responses to incidents concerning the new Library entrance on Franklin St, the general population needs relevant to the vulnerable populations served, the old RMV location transitioning to a resource site for the unhoused population, the Social Services Specialty position, weather correlating to elevated issues, and systemic sustainable solutions.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey spoke on the importance of trauma informed care and crisis intervention resources, the Niche Academy, the process relative to the Crisis Incident Response Plan, and the New Americans Librarian position and the presentation on library services to migrant communities, and attendance rate related to traditional library patrons with the Executive Director of the Worcester Public Library.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager request Executive Director of the Worcester Public Library provide City Council a list of all services offered at the Worcester Public Library.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey recognized Councilor Bergman, who spoke concerning the process relative to the Mobile Library Express Bookmobiles with movie rentals and the publicís interest relative to the Major Taylor statue relative to the libraryís collaboration with the Major Taylor Museum with the Executive Director of the Worcester Public Library.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager request Executive Director of the Worcester Public Library provide City Council with a report concerning the collaboration between the Major Taylor Museum and the Worcester Public Library.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey recognized Councilor Ojeda, who spoke concerning the correlation between overdoses and locations in the library, the process relevant to mitigating or maintaining intervention with other library patrons during public overdoses, and the locations relevant to the Crisis Incident Response Plan with the Executive Director of the Worcester Public Library.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey moved to recommend the item be filed.

Recommend File

Chairman's Orders

Request City Manager request Executive Director of the Worcester Public Library provide City Council a list of all services offered at the Worcester Public Library.

Request City Manager request Executive Director of the Worcester Public Library provide City Council with a report concerning the collaboration between the Major Taylor Museum and the Worcester Public Library.

5.

Communication of the City Manager - Police Department

5a.

Transmitting informational communication relative to the 2023 Crime Statistics for the City of Worcester. # 8.13A CM March 19, 2024

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Toomey read the item and recognized the Interim Police Chief, who provided an overview of the item including information concerning the declines and increases relating to various crime categories, the process relevant to developing the Crime Gun Intelligence Unit, the rate of illegal gun ownership and process relative to ghost guns and switches, various policing strategies, and community impact initiatives.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey brought forth the following two (2) Chairmanís Orders: 1) Request City Manager request Police Chief provide City Council with a report concerning pending legislation regarding ghost guns and switches; and 2) Request City Manager request Police Chief work with Superintendent of the Worcester Public Schools to create a contingency plan for gun violence alerts throughout the summer.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey recognized the following speakers:
1. Gordon T. Davis, Worcester resident, spoke neither in favor nor opposed to the item
2. Greg Degermajian, Worcester resident, spoke neither in favor nor opposed to the item

Chairperson Councilor Toomey recognized Interim Police Chief, who discussed complaints regarding the Police Department and the data released to the Human Rights Commission relative to public viewing, the process relevant to violations pertaining body camera policies, the quarterly analysis related to drones, historical police practices concerning systemic racism, and the process relative to investigating systemic racism with Speaker #1.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey recognized Councilor Ojeda, who spoke concerning the process relative to police foot patrol and the reports related to foot patrol collected with the Interim Police Chief.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager request Police Chief provide City Council with regular reports concerning foot patrols, community policing efforts and findings relative to each City Council district.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey recognized Interim Police Chief, who discussed staffing levels and the process relative to the approved budget regarding the Crime Analysis position with Speaker #2.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager request Police Chief provide City Council with a report, prior to the end of August 2024, regarding any new Worcester Police Department (WPD) retirees, as well as information concerning new WPD recruits.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey moved to recommend the item be filed.

Recommend File

Chairman's Orders

Request City Manager request Police Chief provide City Council with a report concerning pending legislation regarding ghost guns and switches.

Request City Manager request Police Chief work with Superintendent of the Worcester Public Schools to create a contingency plan for gun violence alerts throughout the summer.

Request City Manager request Police Chief provide City Council with regular reports concerning foot patrols, community policing efforts and findings relative to each City Council district.

Request City Manager request Police Chief provide City Council with a report, prior to the end of August 2024, regarding any new Worcester Police Department (WPD) retirees, as well as information concerning new WPD recruits.

6.

Communication of the City Manager - Fire Department

6a.

Transmitting informational communication relative to the 2023 Worcester Fire Department Annual Report. # 11.12A CM March 12, 2024

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Toomey read the item and recognized the Fire Chief, who provided an overview discussing public interactions with the community, operational changes relative to staffing policies, the Command system training, the addition of the Deputy Chief position, and equipment upgrades.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey recognized the following speaker:
1. Greg Degermajian, Worcester resident, spoke neither in favor nor opposed to the item

Chairperson Councilor Toomey recognized the Fire chief, who discussed fire apparatus companies in the city relative to the increase of population with Speaker #1.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey moved to recommend the item be filed.

Recommend File

7.

Communication of the City Manager - Emergency Communications and Management

7a.

Transmitting informational communication detailing analytics around responsiveness via the City's 311 Application. # 9.14A CM April 2, 2024

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Toomey read the item and recognized the Director of Emergency Communications and Management, who provided an overview of the process relative to gathering data regarding the cityís 311 application, the various city departments who utilize the 311 application, collaborations with the Department of Innovation and Technology, and the process relative to ensure work orders are not closed prematurely.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey recognized Councilor Bergman, who spoke concerning the process relevant to the response time of orders sent through the 311 application versus calling in directly and the process relevant to fulfilling multiple orders close in proximity with the Director of Emergency Communications and Management.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey recognized Councilor Ojeda, who discussed weekend operations regarding reported work orders and the process relative to organizing call ins and online orders submitted to view in one location on the 311 application with the Director of Emergency Communications and Management.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey spoke concerning the process relative to emergency reporting on the weekends with the Director of Emergency Communications and Management.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager request Director of Emergency Communications and Management provide City Council a report regarding methods to address emergency solutions in the 311 application, particularly on weekends.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey moved to recommend the item be filed.

Recommend File

Chairman's Orders

Request City Manager request Director of Emergency Communications and Management provide City Council a report regarding methods to address emergency solutions in the 311 application, particularly on weekends.