City officials warn of ‘looming crisis’ from fallout of drug lab closure

Boston police Commissioner Ed Davis speaks with other city leaders and authorities about their plan for inmates returning to the city streets because of the drug lab crisis.
NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO

While city officials painted a worrisome picture from the impact of violent drug offenders being suddenly released from jail as part of the drug lab crisis fallout, they also asked state and federal leaders for monetary and resource assistance to get ahead of the issue.

“Make no mistake, this is a looming crisis,” said police Commissioner Ed Davis.

Local, state and federal authorities and leaders announced the formation of a “crisis re-entry plan” that they expected to launch Friday.

An untold number of inmates and drug defendants could be released as a result of the thousands of potentially tainted cases by former state chemist Annie Dookhan who is accused of mishandling drug samples at a Jamaica Plain lab. Some drug suspects have already been released as special court hearings get underway.

The plan was formed after holding emergency meetings in the wake of the crisis, the officials said. It includes holding mandatory pre-release meetings for inmates with a team comprised of members of the Boston police, Suffolk district attorney’s office, probation department and the Boston Centers for Youth and Family. Also, additional resources will be made available to the Boston police drug unit, gang unit and safe street team, officials said.

Mayor Thomas Menino said he is going to make a formal request for federal and state resources to help offset the re-entry efforts. He estimated that it could cost more than $3.5 million just for increased police patrols.

Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley said the issue worries him and estimated that between 400 and 600 inmates and drug suspects could return to the city.

“We’re not talking about low-level drug addicts here. We’re talking about high-level drug traffickers,” Conley said. “This should cause all of us concern.”

The leaders also ripped the state over the drug lab crisis fallout.

During the announcement of the “crisis re-entry plan,” officials said they were planning to seek additional resources and emergency funds from the state and federal government to help with the drug lab fallout.

Conley pointed out that the Jamaica Plain drug lab was run by the state Department of Public Health.

“None of us had anything to do with what happened over there, but we will have to deal with the fall out and pick up the pieces and that’s what we’re doing,” he said.

Mayor Thomas Menino said it’s an “emergency situation.”

“I continue to hear conversations up at Beacon Hill about this, and you know, the conversations are over. People are getting released to the streets. Let’s have some action here. We’re ready to go to work,” he said.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

NHL

Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.