Data Download with Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone

On July 13, 2017, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

By Joseph A. Curtatone

(The opinions and views expressed in the commentaries and letters to the Editor of The Somerville Times belong solely to the authors and do not reflect the views or opinions of The Somerville Times, its staff or publishers)

Taking a closer look at notable city data – and interesting numbers.

159 Standards – For police departments, achieving certification from the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission is no simple task. A department must meet 159 law enforcement professional standards to receive this coveted recognition. So it’s no wonder that many police departments choose not to participate in the voluntary program. But after intense and diligent work, the Somerville Police Department achieved this notable goal. The SPD received certification on May 3, which is an accomplishment for which we should all be proud. Among the steps our police took to get there, the Department updated and documented numerous rules and regulations not just to state but to national standards and best practices. Policies are also now posted online for public transparency. Additionally, more than 50 percent of officers have completed Crisis Intervention Training, and community engagement has increased tremendously with “park, walk, and talks” and more than 500 school visits during the 2016-2017 school year.

Because of their diligent work, the SPD not only achieved certification, they are also recognized as a regional model for compassionate 21st century policing. But they will not be stopping here. The department is now working toward accreditation, which requires they meet a total of 382 standards. I want to congratulate all of the SPD’s sworn and civilian members—from our officers, clerks, and 911 operators to our command staff and Chief—whose professionalism and dedication not only made this achievement possible, but keep our community safe every day. If you see an officer or SPD member, please congratulate and thank them as well.

15 Weekends – This season, the Somerville Mobile Farmer’s Market truck will be traveling around the city selling fresh, local produce on 15 weekends starting July 14. Our market-on-wheels partners with local Massachusetts farms, including Groundwork Somerville’s South Street Farm to bring fresh and affordable produce right into our neighborhoods. The idea is to make it easy for residents to shop for locally grown, healthy foods. Market stops include the Council on Aging at Holland Street, East Somerville Community School, North St. housing, and Mystic housing. So if you like berries, fresh greens, summer tomatoes and more, come on by.

All are welcome, and the market accepts SNAP/EBT, WIC farmer’s market coupons, and senior farmer’s market coupons, in addition to cash, debit, and credit. Residents of North Street and Mystic River housing along with recipients of SNAP, WIC, and senior farmer’s market coupons receive 50 percent off all purchases. For a schedule and more information, visit The Mobile Market is part of our Shape Up Somerville initiative to build a healthier and more equitable community by making healthy eating and active living the easy choice for our residents.

1 Committee Member – The Somerville Community Preservation Committee is looking to fill one upcoming position, and if you care about green space, housing, and history, this may be the right opportunity for you. The Committee evaluates Somerville’s needs in the areas of open space and outdoor recreation, affordable housing, and historic preservation and makes recommendations to the Board of Aldermen on how approximately $2 million dollars in annual Community Preservation Act funding should be spent. For more information on the duties of Community Preservation Committee members and how to apply, visit And please note, the deadline to apply is by August 3, 2017, and the new member will serve a three-year term that starts January 1, 2018.

24 Workgroup Members – Recently, the U.S. Department of Energy invited just 24 representatives from across the country to help fine tune their new Better Building Residential Network Toolkit: Community-Based Social Marketing. I’m proud to report that a representative from the City of Somerville’s Office of Planning and Community Development Housing Division was among the 24 participants. The Somerville Energy Efficiency Now (SEEN) program, which our Housing Division offers to make energy-efficient upgrades for Somerville homeowners, landlords, and tenants easier and more affordable, was featured in the toolkit as a model program in several areas. For more information on the SEEN program or to find out how to get your own no-cost energy assessment, visit

Data-based decision making is at the core of how the City of Somerville develops policy and sets priorities. Every day we check the latest 311 stats, and throughout the week we meet for in-depth review of departmental data and city trends. The monthly Data Download column shares some of the data we’ve been reviewing recently, as well as interesting updates. To see more Somerville Data, visit the online Somerville Data Farm at


Leave a Reply

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.