Why Are Boston’s Police Districts Named So Bizarrely?

I can’t even remember why, but I found myself looking at Boston’s crime statistics, which are broken out by district. What makes no sense to me are the names. Here’s a map with all of the districts:


Why, for instance, are there three A districts, A-1, A-7, and A-15? Where did A-2 to A-6 go? I don’t get this. If these were consolidated districts (i.e., districts used to much smaller and there were more of them), why would someone pick those three names, and not A-1 to A-3?

Anyone know, or is this just another case of “Boston: Because Fuck You?

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3 Responses to Why Are Boston’s Police Districts Named So Bizarrely?

  1. leftwingfox says:

    My guess would be minimum possible cost and disruption during consolidation, especially if the changes were gradual. If you combine district 1 though 3, It’s easier to change the branding on district 2 and 3 to “1′”, instead of also having to adjust the assets and identity of districts 4-17.

  2. hipparchia says:

    i’m going to guess it’s for uniqueness reasons. if you split a large a-1 into two smaller districts and call one of them a-1 and the other a-2, then years later you could end up comparing/combining statistics from the old, larger a-1 with the new, smaller a-1.

    a simple way to avoid that scenario would be to split a-1 into a-2 and a-3, retiring the designation a-1, since technically a-1 no longer exists. etc etc etc….

  3. Bayesian Bouffant, FCD says:

    A-1, A-7, A-15 … A-2 … A-6

    You sunk my battleship!

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