SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Emotions ran high as murder victims' families stood in front of hundreds of people who gathered Wednesday night to discuss the crime issue in Springfield.
From educating people about the anonymous tip line, Text-A-Tip, to getting volunteers to become mentors.
Hundreds of people shared their ideas Wednesday night to help reduce violence among Springfield's youth.
Many people are still looking for answers after 3 people were shot and killed in back to back weekend shootings in September.
Chelan Brown, spokeswoman for Awake Springfield, said, “You don't want that phone call. You don't want to get a knock on your door or a phone call, telling you that your son is not here anymore.”
Now Springfield residents are determined to stop violence among young people. They told 22News getting parents and community organizations involved is a crucial step toward a lower crime rate.
Darrius Johanson of Springfield told 22News, “We need more mentors, people to go to middle schools and high schools more often and speak to the children one on one. Tell them that we can actually make it out of this neighbor, and this is not the only thing. This is not the only route.”
Some people believe something as simple as extending the local libraries' hours will give young people places to go and things to do after school.
Springfield City Library Manager of Public Services Jean Canosa Albano said, “I consider that a public safety initiative. More safe places for kids to go, teens to go and do constructive things, interact with their peers.”
She said the location on State Street has a Civic Engagement Team, and that team is already working on some anti-violence programs for teens.
It was standing room only meeting at Spring of Hope Church of God in Christ on Alden Street. The line was out the door.
Rev. Talbert Swan II of Springfield told 22News, “Ultimately there's a role that community residents play. There's a role that parents and extended family play and of neighbors and every neighborhood. So we want to call the community into accountability.”