Making First Night 2007 a Safe Night for Everyone

Below is the text of Commissioner Ed Davis' comments at today's press conference outlining First Night 2007 First Night is a great Boston tradition. Not only is it one of our largest events, it is also one of our premier family events. We are expecting another large crowd this year, and the Boston Police are asking everyone to celebrate responsibly. New Year’s Eve is a time for celebration, and we expect everyone who comes into this city to celebrate peacefully and responsibly. First Night is a family event. We are encouraging families to bring their children into First Night. And we are also telling everyone to leave the alcohol at home. If there are individuals who do not choose to celebrate responsibly, the Boston Police Department will be on hand, and we will have a zero tolerance policy toward any alcohol violation. That means no open containers, no underage drinking, and no unruly behavior on our streets. The Boston Police will have a large, visible presence at all First Night events. There are at least 34 indoor events that will be held during First Night, as well as the many large, outdoor events and celebrations. You can expect to see uniformed Boston Police officers in locations such as the Back Bay, the Boston Common, Downtown and Waterfront areas.

This enforcement effort extends beyond the celebration in downtown Boston. Officers in all of our Districts will be on the lookout for loud party complaints and disorderly behavior in our neighborhoods. We strongly encourage everyone to take public transportation into First Night. We will be diverting traffic at several events, such as the Grand Procession Parade in the Back Bay, and the fireworks displays at both the Boston Common and the waterfront. There will also be a number of parking restrictions in place throughout downtown Boston. You can minimize the impact that this will have by leaving your car at home. There are no specific threats of terrorism against the city of Boston or any of our celebrations. However, due diligence demands that we take special precautions whenever we have such a large numbers of people coming into the City. We will be staffing the Unified Command Center at Boston Police headquarters, and we will be working closely with our public safety partners, including the Boston Fire Department, Transportation Department, MBTA Police, State police, and FBI. We will also have Joint Hazardous Materials Teams operating in Boston, along with alongside Army Civil Support Teams. These are all standard precautions we take at any event of this scale. Our goal is to make the 2006 First Night a safe night for everyone. There are a few basic steps that families can take to make sure that the enjoy First Night safely:

  1. Parents should not send their children into the city unsupervised, as we are expecting a very large crowd.
  2. Families should have a plan if members of their group become separated or lost. They should have an agreed-upon meeting place or a phone number of somebody they can call.
  3. Check the weather report before leaving your house, Dress appropriately.

I wish everyone a happy New Year, and, on behalf of the Boston Police Department, hope that everyone has a happy and safe First Night celebration.