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Fighting Crime From Within

BOSTON GLOBE MAY 22, 2015 Joanna Weiss, Globe Columnist, writes about Ruth Rollins and Operation LIPSTICK as "a kind of quiet crimefighting force."

By Joanna Weiss Globe Columnist  May 22, 2015

Think back, for a moment, to Toya Graham, the Baltimore mother caught on video last month, pulling her son back from a riot. Some questioned her methods, but her cause resonated with the nation — a voice from within a troubled community, trying to stop someone she loved from becoming part of the problem.

Now imagine a group of women, empathetic and sometimes fierce, becoming a kind of quiet crimefighting force. Imagine that they’re a key to improving not just safety on the streets, but relations between the community and police.

And realize that, in Boston, this is happening now.

It is called Operation L.I.P.S.T.I.C.K., for “Ladies Involved in Putting a Stop to Inner-City Killings.” It’s a grass-roots program on a shoestring that targets a narrow problem: the trafficking and harboring of illegal guns by girlfriends, sisters, mothers, grandmothers.


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