Last weekend Boston hosted the annual convention of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and it was pretty much a mixed bag. The only thing I couldn’t find was a donut reference.
The city of Boston is being socked with a huge financial hit in police overtime. A big portion of that can be laid at the feet of one decision: to provide the visiting chiefs with uniformed officers as chauffeurs, feting them around Beantown in police vehicles. It also led to some charges that the lack of police officers doing — well, policework — led to a nasty rise in crime over the weekend.
Also, at least one of the guests wasn’t that good a guest. A Nigerian official, apparently trying to “start a mutually beneficial business relationship” with a lady at the convention, was nabbed after performing an overly-friendly and utterly unauthorized frisking. Apparently he mistook her for the widow of a government official or oil executive or something.
But on the brighter side, another stupid criminal dumbed his way behind bars. Jose Medina-Ruiz, showing a bit more conscientiousness than your average fugitive, decided to show up for work as scheduled. Unfortunately for him, his job was cleaning up at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, then being visited by about 16,000 police officers of various ranks and locales. One of those 16,000 was a detective from Bridgewater, Massachusetts, who recognized the janitor as the drug dealer he’d spent years chasing. He quickly rounded up two Boston officers (possibly depriving two dignitaries of their chauffeurs) and had them pop the cuffs on Medina-Ruiz.
Boston is still recovering, financially, from the Democratic National Convention in 2004. I’m starting to wonder just why cities fight so hard for conventions — more and more, they’re proving to be more of a burden than a boon.