Boston police, Massport at odds over seaport jurisdiction

Boston Police are at odds with Massport over jurisdiction. (PHOTO BY NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO)
Boston Police are at odds with Massport over jurisdiction. Credit: Nicolaus Czarnecki/Metro

Seeking to increase safety in the South Boston Seaport area, Rep. Nick Collins and Boston Police Commissioner William Evans asked lawmakers Wednesday to make changes to police jurisdiction on Massport properties, with Collins calling the changes “long overdue.”

Collins asked the Transportation Committee for passage of legislation that would grant Boston and state police concurrent jurisdiction to land owned by the Massachusetts Port Authority in Boston, where he said city police are banned from responding.

“Failing to fix this important issue could have grave consequences,” said Boston Police Commissioner William Evans, who was joined by Boston Police Patrolman’s Association President Thomas Nee and a representative of Boston detectives.

Collins said landline emergency calls from the Seaport area go to Boston’s dispatch, but BPD are not allowed to respond to the calls.

While Boston officials decried the jurisdictional situation, Massport Director of Maritime Security and Chief of Massport Police Joe Lawless said the bill is unnecessary and would complicate a successful cooperation with Boston Police.

“Blurring the jurisdictional lines on Massport property would have a detrimental effect,” said Lawless. He said, “The policing system on Massport properties is not broken. It does not need fixing.”

Massport, state and Boston authorities have cooperated at events such as the Democratic National Convention, Lawless said, though he said there are sometimes deficiencies in BPD’s transfer of information from 911 calls, which he said poses risks.

Evans, who said he is conveying the wishes of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, said “there’s no logical reason why the Massport property should be treated differently than Department of Conservation and Recreation property and state roads in Boston.”

The bill calls for a memorandum of understanding between BPD and the State Police in consultation with Massport. The memorandum would cover procedures involving assignment of police officers, first responder calls and emergency 911 dispatch, emergencies occurring on Massport properties, criminal investigations of incidents and crimes, and arrests and processing of individuals taken into custody.

Collins said the bill would not apply to maritime or aviation properties.

Evans said the bill “does not take away any authority of the state police.”

The bill (S 1659/ H 3035) was filed by former Sen. Jack Hart and Collins, both South Boston Democrats.

Nee said the current law hinders the ability of police. “We could run across one road, be in the city of Boston, and not convey our authority as police officers,” Nee said.

Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS


Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.


Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…


OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…


MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.


Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."


'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.


'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."


TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.


Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.


Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.


Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”


Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.


Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.


Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…


NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.


The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.