In the past six months, we’ve twice reported on a contentious program undertaken by the Boston Police Department, in which police officers seek “voluntary” permission to enter and search people’s homes (and specifically, children’s bedrooms) for drugs and firearms—without warrants.
Under the controversial “Home Safe” program, teams of police officers are assigned to the city’s public schools and seek out leads on students believed to have firearms. Once officers receive a call or otherwise secure a lead, they are to show up at the student’s home and ask to immediately search the premises, confiscating any firearms they find. Officers are empowered to exercise their personal discretion should they encounter drugs or signs of other illegal activity.
Intense opposition from residents forced officials to scale back the scope of the program, and delay its implementation at least three times since December. And despite very valid concerns within the community, the program commenced approximately four weeks ago.
Officials have heavily promoted the program, advertising it throughout the city with special fliers, mailings, and even a special hotline.So is the program working? Well, there’s no way to tell. An April 23, BostonHerald.com article reports that, though the program has been operating for about a month now, so far no calls requesting searches have come in, and not a single lead has been generated.