SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Public Safety Package 2012 is a proposed plan to help fight gun violence in Springfield.
It includes an ordinance that allows the city to seize and sell vehicles if illegal guns are found in them, and City Councilors Mike Fenton and Tim Allen say it will help improve Springfield's image and attract more people to the downtown area.
Between the first sellout crowd in three years for the Springfield Falcons and the Springfield Armor's franchise-record crowd, the two teams drew over 12-thousand people to downtown Springfield over the weekend.
Events at MassMutual Center certainly help restaurants and bars in this area, but many people say the City could do more to help local businesses.
Co-Owner of JT"s Sports Bar and Grille Keith Makarowski told 22News, "When certain kinds of crime happen pretty much in all different parts of the city, it's unfortunate because they lump it into all bars and restaurants anywhere in the city."
Springfield City Councilor Mike Fenton told 22News, gun violence is one reason why Springfield gets such a bad reputation.
He said, "It is a significant problem for us both in terms of public safety and in terms of economics and attracting development. Guns are scary and people don't like to hear about gun violence in their cities.
One visitor told 22News, Springfield has improved a lot since his last visit, which was four years ago, and residents say, the city has the potential to be a popular destination.
Evan Emge from Fremont, California told 22News, "You really feel like this is a place where I belong. I get that feeling when I'm here."
John Bandain of Holyoke said, "The fact that people feel it is dangerous prevents them from coming down to the city. Once the word gets out that the city is getting all of its ducks in a row, I think people will flock down to the area."
Public Safety 2012 also has plans to create a gun squad and gun court.