Over the past three years, four homicides have occurred in the Belmont area — all in 2016. Of the 12 arsons reported in three years, eight happened last year in the north-central Lincoln neighborhood.
Police started to re-evaluate their patrol tactics in Belmont after the eight arsons and four homicides in one year. Capt. Anthony Butler says officers assigned to the northwest team took the year hard.
Officers have worked on forming better relationships with residents. They started by going door-to-door introducing themselves. Then midway through last year the department hosted what organizers called community conversations.
The goal: Make people comfortable in calling police.