‘We’re There For You,’ Quincy Police Chief Says At Community Meeting

By SCOTT JACKSON

At a public forum Monday evening, Police Chief Paul Keenan said his department is there to assist the community and urged residents to contact police if they are in need of assistance or see something suspicious.

Scores of residents were present inside Tobin Towers on Clay Street for the meeting, which was held to discuss public safety after a woman in her 60s was kidnapped outside the Wollaston MBTA station earlier in November and then taken to a home where she was repeatedly raped. Representatives from various organizations, including Quincy Asian Resources Inc. and DOVE, were there to speak with residents after the meeting Monday, and interpretation services were provided in Cantonese, Mandarin and Vietnamese.

City Councillor Nina Liang, who helped organize the meeting, said she was inspired by the number of residents who were present on Monday.

“It’s unfortunate the reason why we are gathered here but I am inspired that we are all coming together as a community to find ways to move forward together safely,” she said.

Ward 5 Councillor Charles Phelan Jr. said the city was taking the incident that took place at the T station seriously.

“I have a daughter and wife and we live just a couple blocks away, so it’s something that we really take seriously, everyone in the city,” he said.

Mayor Thomas Koch said public safety is the most important issue for local government and noted that during his tenure as mayor, and with the assistance of the City Council, the Quincy Police Department has increased in size from 144 patrol officers in 2008 to 185 patrol officers today.

“As chair of the School Committee, I frequently say there is nothing more important we do in government [than] educating our children, with one exception, and that is the safety of you and your person and of your property,” Koch said.

“We have an outstanding police department. They do a good job every day. That doesn’t mean things are not going to happen. We live in a troubled world and there are evil people out there, there are ignorant people out there, and there’s mental illness issues that people have out there.”

Quincy is the seventh most populous city in Massachusetts, Koch added, and is the safest of the ten largest cities in the state.

“Quincy is a safe city,” he said, noting that the Quincy Police Department and MBTA Transit Police were able to apprehend the suspect charged with the kidnapping and rape within 16 hours.

Keenan, the city’s police chief, called the kidnapping and rape of the woman on Nov. 12 one of the most horrific events he has experienced while serving with the department.

“I’ve been a police officer now for almost 40 years…and this is one of the most horrific events that I’ve ever experienced as a police officer. This hit right to the core of the city, right to the core of the police department,” Keenan said. “That morning, that woman was doing nothing wrong. She was going to her job to go to work. She cut through an open parking lot in broad daylight, 7 o’clock in the morning, and unfortunately she was abducted by a very sick individual.”

The suspect charged with the kidnapping and rape, Christian Lynch, a 26-year-old Quincy man, pleaded not guilty to those and other charges during his arraignment on Nov. 14 in Quincy District Court. He was ordered held without bail pending a Nov. 23 dangerousness hearing. Keenan said Lynch remains behind bars following that hearing.

Advocates with the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office are working to assist the victim, Keenan added.

“They have a crew of advocates to assist this poor woman in getting her life back together,” he said.

The police chief told those present for the community meeting that is important to call the police if they or anyone else requires assistance.

“We’d like to get the message across, crystal clear, we need you folks to call. If you see anything or if you hear anything or if you don’t feel comfortable or if you have an incident that you’re afraid of or you’re aware of, call us,” Keenan said.

“We don’t care at all about your immigration status or about your language difficulties. We have people in the police department that can interpret, we also have an interpreter line that can also interpret. We’re there for you. Make the phone call. You’re not bothering us. We’re not going to ask your immigration status. Whether you’re here legally, illegally or whatever, we’re just going to assist you. We’re here to help. We want to make sure we keep all of you safe, and we want to help you.”

It is also important, he added, for people to be aware of their surroundings.

“We need you to be aware of your surroundings,” he said. “A lot of people, especially when they’re walking are on their cellphones or on headphones. If you could pay more attention to your surroundings, that would be helpful as well to keep you safe.”

Keenan said that patrols have been added in the area of Wollaston Center.

“We have increased patrols in this area. I don’t know if you’re aware of it, but even prior to this incident, we had extra officers working, so we put them down in the Wollaston Center area,” he said. “So, we’ve done that…and that will continue.”

The department also plans to hold self-defense courses for the city’s Asian population and for its elderly population, Keenan said.

“We’re going to get those up and running,” he said. “We had to stop for a little bit when we had COVID going on. Unfortunately, we couldn’t continue those in person, but it seems like COVID is hopefully on the decrease and we feel comfortable enough to get you folks out and get you into those training seminars.”

The chief said that QARI has offered to let the department use its facility at 550 Hancock St. to hold those seminars, and the department is looking at other venues as well. Information on those sessions will be posted online and within Quincy Housing Authority properties, such as Tobin Towers.

During Monday’s meeting, two residents asked about the Transit Police presence at the Wollaston station. One person said she had visited the station multiple times over the past week and only saw a Transit Police officer there on one occasion. Marsha Lehane, who rides the T every day, said an officer should be present at all times the Red Line is running.

“You need to find a way to get a body, a man or a woman, in uniform dressed as a policeman standing there…every time that train is running from morning ‘til they shut down,” Lehane said. “There has got to be something visual and standing there in uniform to know that nobody is going to get by them.”

A representative from the Transit Police was not at the meeting held on Monday evening but was present for a forum held earlier in the day elsewhere in Wollaston. At that meeting, Keenan said his counterpart with the Transit Police explained that officers are deployed to stations based on call volume, and Wollaston is the safest of the four stations in Quincy and among the safest in the entire system.

“He kind of explained it today at the earlier meeting, they just don’t have the bodies to be able to cover each station,” Keenan stated. “They do have officers at the Quincy Center station, which is an awful lot busier call-volume wise, but they do go up and down the line.”

Keenan added that he would speak with Transit Police about the matter.

Another resident asked if Lynch would be charged with a hate crime as both the woman he is charged with kidnapping and another woman he is charged with trying to abduct earlier that same morning are both Asian. Keenan said authorities are continuing to investigate the case.

Town River Sailing Program, Q-NQ Marching Band Win Top Prizes At 69th Quincy Christmas Parade

The Town River Sailing Program was awarded the Father Thomas Tierney Grand Prize Award for best overall non-commercial float in Sunday’s 69th annual Quincy Christmas Parade. The prize comes with a $2,000 cash award and plaque. The winning float included a number of toys from decades past. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth

By SCOTT JACKSON

Thousands of onlookers lined up along Hancock Street between Quincy Square and North Quincy on Sunday afternoon to witness the city’s 69th Christmas parade, which featured dozens of bands and floats, plus scores of costumed characters.

The theme of this year’s parade was “Christmas Through the Decades.” The theme was chosen by the Quincy Christmas Festival Committee in October and had been submitted by JoJo Hallisey, a Quincy resident and teacher at Central Middle School.

The parade stepped off at noon on Sunday from the intersection of Hancock Street and Hannon Parkway in Quincy Square and continued for three miles until it reached North Quincy High School. Among those participating in the parade this year was the University of Massachusetts Amherst marching band, a renowned 380-member unit. Santa Claus, as always, made an appearance as well, riding along the Quincy Fire Department’s Ladder 2.

Prizes were awarded to the best floats and high school marching bands at the conclusion of Sunday’s parade.

The George White Award for Best Quincy Commercial Float went to the Quincy Park Conservancy; the group’s float included children dressed as Beanie Babies. Montilio’s was awarded the prize for Best Commercial Float; the bakery’s float included a gingerbread house. The Rotary Club/Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office were named the Best Specialty Float. Those prize winners each received a plaque for their efforts.

The Town River Sailing Program was awarded the Father Thomas Tierney Grand Prize Award for best overall non-commercial float, which comes with a $2,000 cash award and plaque. The winning float included a number of toys from decades past.

The Friends of Quincy Recreation were awarded the prize for First Place Non-Commercial Float, which comes with a $1,500 cash award. Their “Rec & Roll” float was a throwback to the 1950s.

North Quincy High School’s entry – an homage to the former Wollaston Theatre – took home second-place in the non-commercial float field, which comes with a $1,000 cash award. Quincy High School came in third place in the non-commercial field, a $750 cash award; the school’s float included posters from Christmas films of the last 75 years. The Lotus Montessori School was named the fourth place winner in the non-commercial field, which comes with a $500 cash award.

In the marching band competition, the Quincy-North Quincy combined band took home first place overall with a score of 92.6. David Prouty was second overall with a score of 86.6 and New Bedford third with a score of 86.5.

In the Division I band competition, David Prouty finished in first place, Immaculate Heart of Mary second place and Somerset-Berkley in third place. David Prouty had best music score; Immaculate Heart of Mary best percussion score and Somerset-Berkley best color guard.

In the marching band competition, the Quincy-North Quincy High Schools combined band took home first place overall with a score of 92.6. Here the band performs on Hancock Street near Granite Street during Sunday”s 69th Quincy Christmas Parade. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth
The George White Award for Best Quincy Commercial Float went to the Quincy Park Conservancy; the group’s float included children dressed as Beanie Babies. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth
Montilio’s was awarded the prize for Best Commercial Float; the bakery’s float included a gingerbread house. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth
Entry by the Rotary Club/Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office was named the Best Specialty Float. At left with the microphone is “The Singing Sheriff” – Norfolk County Sheriff Patrick McDermott. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth
The Friends of Quincy Recreation were awarded the prize for First Place Non-Commercial Float, which comes with a $1,500 cash award. Their “Rec & Roll” float was a throwback to the 1950s. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth
North Quincy High School’s entry – an homage to the former Wollaston Theatre – took home second-place in the non-commercial float field, which comes with a $1,000 cash award. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth
Quincy High School came in third place in the non-commercial field, a $750 cash award; the school’s float included posters from Christmas films of the last 75 years. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth
One of the signature entries in this year’s Quincy Christmas Parade was the University of Massachusetts-Amherst Marching Band. The renowned 380-member unit is shown here on Hancock Street approaching Granite Street. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth

Santa Claus waves to children from atop a Quincy Fire Truck at Sunday’s Quincy Christmas Parade. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth
Besides the many bands and floats there were a number of specialty units and performers participating in Sunday’s Quincy Christmas Parade including a fire charmer (above) and clowns from Aleppo Shriners (below). The fire charmer is Liz Knights of Cirque De Light. Aleppo Shriners is a fraternity dedicated to fun and supporting the kids of Shriners Hospitals.Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth

 

 

Quincy Downs North 40-35 In Thriller To Win 90th City Football Championship

Quincy Presidents head football coach Kevin Carey receives the City Football Championship Trophy from Supt. Kevin Mulvey after Quincy defeated North Quincy 40-35 in the 90th Thanksgiving Football Game Thursday at Veterans’ Memorial Stadium. Thursday’s win marked Quincy’s first over NQ since 2019. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth
Quincy’s Jacey Ham scored the winning touchdown on a 5-yard TD pass from quarterback Andrew Novak with 3:35 remaining in the fourth quarter. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth
North Quincy quarterback Charlie Baker scored the Raiders’ second touchdown on a 5-yard run to make it a 21-14 Quincy lead in the third quarter. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth
North Quincy running back Nate Caldwell returned a kick 80 yards for the Raiders first touchdown in the second quarter. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth
Quincy wide receiver Ruben Charles hauls in a 70-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Andrew Novak for the first Presidents touchdown against North Quincy early in the first quarter. Defending for the Raiders is Will Conley. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth
Quincy’s Eric Lomanno raises the City Football Championship Trophy as he and his teammates celebrate the Presidents’ 40-35 win over North Quincy in the 90th Thanksgiving Football Game between the two high schools at Veterans’ Memorial Stadium. Lomanno caught a 45-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Andrew Novak in the victory. More coverage in the Dec. 1st issue of The Quincy Sun. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth

Lady Remembered: City Dedicates Abigail Adams Statue At Hancock-Adams Common

The City of Quincy dedicated a new 7-foot bronze statue of First Lady Abigail Adams at a ceremony Saturday morning at the Hancock-Adams Common. Keynote speakers at the event were Catherine Algor, president, Massachusetts Historical Society, and Danielle Allen, professor of political philosophy, Harvard University, and director of the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Ethics. Flanking the new statue are (from left to right) Catherine Allgor, Councillor Anne Mahoney, Mayor Thomas Koch, sculptor Sergey Eylanbekov, Danielle Allen, Cong. Stephen Lynch, Christine Koch, Marianne Peak, Adams National Historical Park; Councillor Nina Liang and School Committee member Emily Lebo. Abigail is shown with a letter in her hand addressed to her husband, Second U.S. President John Adams. In one of her letters to John dated March 31, 1776, Abigail wrote: “In the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire you would remember the ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands.”  Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth
Several hundred people gathered Saturday morning at the Hancock-Adams Common for the dedication and unveiling of a new bronze statue in honor of First Lady Abigail Adams. Speakers at the ceremony included Mayor Thomas Koch, Cong. Stephen Lynch, Massachusetts Historical Society President Catherine Allgor and Harvard University Professor Danielle Allen. Patriotic bunting and American flags decorated buildings near the common including the James R. McIntyre Government Center (old City Hall) shown here. More coverage in the Nov. 10th issue of The Quincy Sun. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth
Abigail Adams bronze statue looks out from its granite pedestal in the Hancock-Adams Common. The statue was sculpted by Sergey Eylanbekov who also crafted the statues of John Hancock and John Adams that book-end the common. Other statues sculpted by Eylanbekov include the generals in the Generals Park in Quincy as well as President Dwight D. Eisenhower in Washington, D.C. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth