Some sports purists and civil libertarians said they felt let down by Boston’s official response to the Bruin’s Stanley Cup victory last week.
They were miffed because crowds weren’t allowed to get out of hand on the night of the victory or to roam freely throughout the city burning cars and breaking windows and beating one another up.
This is exactly what happened in Vancouver, where municipal officials in that Canadian city were lax in preparing for the worst.
And the worst happened with dozens of arrest, wild fighting in the streets everywhere and millions in property damage and worst of all – a big black eye for Vancouver where the Olympics were recently held and where municipal officials felt they had everything under control.
Compare this with Mayor Menino’s administration swinging into action long before the last second ran out on the clock of the Stanley Cup victory game.
The mayor and Police Commissioner Ed Davis did not allow 10,000 or more to view the game at the TD Garden, nor did they allow the bars to remain open too long into the night.
But where they scored a big victory was in containing and controlling crowds everywhere where they collected throughout the city.
This was done with precision and with a thorough knowledge of exactly what to do.
A handful of arrests. No riots. No injuries. No craziness like that which was experienced in Vancouver.
There were some complaints that the city spent too much on police overtime and overreached its limits in capping down the Stanley Cup celebration.
The opposite is true.
The overtime money was well spent. The police deployed brilliantly and stepped up to the plate each time it was necessary – and never did more than was necessary to keep the lid on what might have been an explosive, out of control situation.
Hats off, again, to the mayor for showing he knows how to place limits at just the right time.
The Stanley Cup victory of the Bruins was a wonderful victory made all the better by the civilized and controlled response to it.
The Saturday Parade was another example of good planning and police presence.
The enormous crowd behaved more like it was a love-in than a victory parade for our ice warriors.
Therein lies the story about Boston.
It is at once as civilized place as we could hope for and an example to other cities around the nation of how to properly handle fired up crowds.