Area 4: Our neighborhood

Many Cambridge neighborhoods have elegant names befitting the economic status of their residents: Peabody, Agassiz, Riverside.

Area 4, on the other hand, sounds more like a name for a war zone--and for many years, it has been.

For two decades, year after year, the East Cambridge neighborhood has led the city in street robberies, and it runs second in car larcenies.


In fact, the name "Area 4" itself comes from the Cambridge Police Department (CPD), which divides the city into neighborhoods. Perhaps aptly, Area 4 is the only neighborhood that actually identifies itself by the number given to it by the CPD.

Keeping the Peace

For eight hours a day, four out of every six days, David Gamble is a citizen of Area 4. From behind the wheel of his Ford Crown Victoria patrol car, the CPD officer cruises the narrow residential streets and wide commercial boulevards of Area 4.

"It's not a bad area to work," Gamble says.

He says he enjoys his daily interactions with many residents--more than just crime victims. As he drives around he stops to chat with people he knows.

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