On Sunday, February 19, 2023, at approximately 8:30 AM, officers from District B-3 in Mattapan made an on-site firearm arrest of a well-known member of the City of Boston’s Street Outreach, Advocacy, and Response program, also known as SOAR. Calvin Dedrick, 53, of Roxbury, was arrested after a brief car chase that led officers into Milton.
Upon searching the vehicle, officers located two firearms, a SCCY CPX-2 with ten rounds in the magazine, and a Jimenez Arms JA-9 with eight rounds in the magazine. Dedrick was taken into custody and charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, and failure to stop for a police officer.
The incident has left many community leaders outraged, and some are pointing to this as an example of why the SOAR program is being shut down. Our staff reached out directly to Sandy Holden, the Public Information Manager for the City of Boston Youth and Families, but was directed to the Wu administration’s press office.
Wu’s office has not responded to our multiple email inquiry or numerous phone calls despite assurances they would issue a comment. At this time, although not officially confirmed, multiple sources within SOAR and the Boston Police have confimred that Dedrick is an active memebr of the outreach group as recently as last week.
The SOAR program was launched in 2020 to provide resources and support to Boston’s “most vulnerable residents”. Its mission is to allegedly reduce recidivism, intervene in violent activity, and create pathways for active gang-involved youth and young adults in the city. This mission has recently come under fire with allegations of corruption, mismanagement, and ineffectiveness. In late 2022 it was decided the program would be phased out.
The news of Dedrick’s arrest has sent shockwaves through the city, and many are left wondering how someone in a position of trust and responsibility around the City’s most vulnerable youth could be in possession of illegal firearms. As the investigation continues, our staff along with the community will be looking to the Wu administration for answers and action to address the underlying issues that may have led to this incident.