U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch weighed in on a longtime dispute between Mass. State Police and the Boston Police Department over who should have jurisdiction over the Seaport District, arguing that the responsibility should be shared.
Lynch, whose jurisdiction includes the Seaport, said shared jurisdiction should mean "overlapping" control over cases.
"I think there should be shared jurisdiction," Lynch said during an interview with Boston Public Radio Thursday. "I think there's enough business down there and need for law enforcement that they could share the jurisdiction, they just have to do it in a seamless way."
Earlier this month, Boston Police Commissioner Bill Evans asked legislators at the State House to grant shared jurisdiction at a public hearing before the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Security.
"I always ask people, 'Give me one good reason why we shouldn't be down there?' and nobody can answer my question," Evans said.
According to Lynch, the actual port makes the difference and creates individual needs for the area.
"We have a port there, so there's actually a point of entry, international entry there, sort of like the airport," he said. "We have ships coming in there, we had some scurrilous characters come off an LNG tanker a while back. We ought to have sort of a —not a paramilitary, but certainly a State Police-type presence guarding against that danger."
"If you've got a scuffle at a barroom, that's a Boston police responsibility, a more domestic-type case," Lynch continued, "So you've got two sets of needs down there."
Lynch, who said he was "tap-dancing around this issue," said there's no reason why the two departments couldn't coexist in the district, which is currently patrolled by the State Police.
"Just cooperate and keep people safe," Lynch said. "It shouldn't be any more complicated than that."