Updated: Thursday, 02 Apr 2009, 11:59 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 02 Apr 2009, 11:59 PM EDT
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Recent violence on Springfield's streets has municipal leaders and police banding together to crack down on gang activity.
Commissioner William Fitchet and Sgt. John Delaney met with members of the City Council to discuss how to better handle this growing problem.
With summer approaching, more kids will be on the streets, leaving them susceptible to gang recruitment. David Serrano, a former gang member, says gangs prey on juveniles because they can carry drugs and get lesser penalties if they get caught. He said police and community prevention is important but the first responders should be the parents.
"They need to sit down and talk to these kids and if not they're going to lose these kids. They're going to lose their kids to a gang or they're going to lose their kids to violence," said Serrano.
Springfield police have boosted the number of officers outside
of schools to try and combat gang recruitment.