Tag Archives: Boston Police Department

Boston Police reportedly used money slated for mounted unit to buy Papelbon replica jerseys

BOSTON–The debate over the possible disbandment of the Boston Police Department’s 11-horse mounted patrol unit took an unusual turn earlier today with news that funds for the brigade may have been misappropriated toward the purchase of limited-edition Jonathan Papelbon No. 58 jerseys for cops. 

According to sources inside the BPD, hundreds of expensive, hand-stitched replica jerseys of the popular Red Sox closer were purchased using funds earmarked for the embattled mounted unit.

With the city’s stricken budget, cops all over the city were given the jerseys as a non-monetary bonus this past spring, said the source. “The whole thing is kind of blowing up in their faces now. The BPD obviously didn’t think shutting down the mounted unit this year would wind up generating such strong protests from city residents.”

As of this writing, the BPD planned to disband the unit at the end of June as a cost-cutting measure.

“It is a blatant lie to suggest they don’t have the resources to keep the unit up and running,” says a department member speaking on the condition of anonymity. “Take a look around the city some time. Those Papelbon jerseys are everywhere and they aren’t cheap.”

The jerseys given to Boston police have a minimal retail value of over $175 each, with some pricier styles containing limited edition patches commemorating the team’s 2007 World Series Championship. 

Meanwhile, City Hall held a hearing on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the mounted unit’s fate. According to attendees of the hearing, several off-duty Boston police officers made statements while wearing Papelbon jerseys, including one officer decked out in a special edition green jersey.

“Yeah, I don’t know if they bought those things themselves, but it certainly seems like a heck of a coincidence considering there wasn’t a game at Fenway [Tuesday night]. Now all of a sudden they don’t have the resources available for a mounted unit anymore?” said Francis Crawley of the Back Bay Neighborhood Watch Coalition. “Those horses leave big piles of dung all over the place, but it’d be a shame if they shut down the entire operation because these guys couldn’t just buy a $20 Papelbon T-shirt like everyone else.”

For their part, BPD spokesmen would neither confirm nor deny authorizing purchases of Papelbon jerseys. However, several sources insinuated that team apparel is obtained for plain-clothes cops when needed.

“As a safety measure, our undercover officers occasionally utilize popular clothing and team gear as a way to camouflage themselves in the style of a certain demographic,” said one spokesperson. “It’s possible Papelbon jerseys have been worn by some of our men as a means of blending into atmospheres in which uniformed officers would be met with hostility.”

City council members approached about the story declined to comment. However, several councillors appeared to be wearing semi-transparent white dress shirts which revealed outlines of No. 58 Papelbon jerseys being worn as undershirts.

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Fenway/Kenmore residents infuriated over extension of “Fenway Family Hour”

BOSTON, Mass.–Fenway and Kenmore Square area residents are livid over the Boston Red Sox’ announcement Tuesday that hour-long discounts on food concessions will continue throughout the month of May:

Fenway Family Hour, a joint effort between the Red Sox and ARAMARK, was launched in April.  During the month of May, nine popular food items will again be available at up to 50% off in price, including: Fenway Franks, pizza slices, pretzels, popcorn, cotton candy, fruit cups, veggie cups, slider boat (two sliders & fries), and Hoodsie ice cream cups.  The discount is available at all locations throughout the ballpark and there is no limit on the number of items purchased. 

It is a “first hour” provision that has residents particularly upset at the extension, which would seemingly appear to be nothing more than a gesture of good faith by the team to cash-strapped fans. The fine print within the promotion dictates that the discounts are only available for the first hour after the gates are opened (i.e. 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. for a 1 o’clock start). The undesired result, residents say, is a push by fans to arrive for games as early as possible.

“These games are all-day events now,” said 43-year-old Maryanne Donahue as she sat outside her apartment on Park Drive. “Fans are showing up in the area four or five hours before the game even starts so they can get a parking spot and tailgate or go to the bar for a couple hours before the gates open. It’s the Kentucky Derby here every night now.”

Ted Crane, a 25-year resident of the Kenmore Square area, says he’s also noticed an earlier influx of Red Sox fans on game nights this season as compared to prior years.

“These families with a bunch of kids are showing up with their hats and jerseys and novelty license plates…They gotta make sure they’re inside the park for the full hour of half-price food,” says Crane. “And I’ll tell you something else, they’re eating like it’s the Last Supper. Ice cream, hot dogs — sliders, for crissakes, sliders! At Fenway Park! — I’ve had to hose down vomit on the sidewalk in front of my building almost every day.”

As many as 100 Fenway/Kenmore residents have banded together in petitioning Boston Mayor Thomas Menino to order the Red Sox to cease its “Fenway Family Hour” plans for May.

“One month of this was enough,” says Maura Mastarrono, a superintendent of a building on Boylston St. near the park. “With the weather getting warmer in May, I can only imagine fans are going to be filing into the city even earlier in the day. The Landsdowne crowd? I see them strolling into those watering holes at 9 a.m. now so they can get a buzz going before scarfing down a bunch of cheap food.”

City officials did not return repeated requests for comment. However, a Boston Police Department spokesperson assured Fenway Pastoral that, “We have procedures in place for controlling public gluttony and ensuring that the presence of delicious, affordably priced food is not abused.”