SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno has formally requested help from the Massachusetts State Police.
Mayor Sarno sent a letter to Colonel Timothy Alben with the Massachusetts State Police Monday.
Sarno said, with the current uptick in criminal shooting incidents, he'd like state police to help patrol some of the high-crime neighborhoods like Lower Forest Park, Mason Square and in the downtown entertainment district.
Residents say they're glad to see the mayor is asking for help.
Aaron Houle of Springfield said, "I think people are more scared of state police then they are local police. I think it would be a good idea to have them come over here. I think it is a little too much for local police and having more patrols in the area would be a lot better for the city."
Sarno made an announcement this weekend when he said high crime will not be tolerated.
Below is the letter Mayor Sarno sent to Colonel Alden:
July 29, 2013
Dear Senator Welch and Colonel Alben:
As a follow-up to our prior conversation, I am writing to you today in response to the recent uptick of criminal shooting incidents in "hot spot" areas within the City of Springfield. With your help, it is our hope that we can have the additional tools to address these non-random but targeted negative occurrences.
Thanks to Senator James Welch, the city has secured $100,000 to use towards public safety initiatives. It is our intentions to use these funds to bring the Community Action Team (CAT), led by the State Police, back to Springfield, to continue to work hand in hand with our Springfield Police Department under the command of Commissioner William Fitchet.
With the additional presence of CAT, along with the city's own Badge Unit, Downtown Public Safety Initiative, and the Mason Square Initiative, we will have the tools necessary to combat these criminal elements and maintain an increased presence in the lower Forest Park Neighborhood, Mason Square, in the downtown area and the entertainment district, especially during late night hours and closing time.
Again, these incidents are not random; they are drug or gang related and will not be tolerated. I have no doubt that with the combined presence of CAT and the city's own police resources; we will be taking the appropriate steps to making a positive impact on our city's neighborhoods.
The City of Springfield "Thanks You" for your continued efforts and we look forward to working with the Community Action Team in the city. If I can be of any further assistance please do not hesitate to contact me at your earliest convenience.
Domenic J. Sarno