SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield Police Department is introducing a new unit to address gun violence in the city.

Aggravated assault with a gun is up to 26-percent in Springfield. So Captain Keenan and Commissioner Clapprood are banking on this unit working. A total of 111 guns have already been confiscated by Springfield police this year, an increase since last year. Dozens of people have been injured or died from shootings in the city this year alone, something the police department is setting out to stop with the new firearms investigation unit.

“I want them to be able to focus on information of who has guns, where they are located, and what’s going on as far as gun crimes,” said Commissioner Clapprood.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno also supports the new unit, “This is all for the residents and the business community of the city of Springfield.”

The leadership of the firearms investigation unit is confident it will make a difference.

“Taking the narcotics bureau in a new direction, into a new way of doing things focusing on firearms we’ll find ways to reduce fear of crime and violence in Springfield,” said Captain Brian Keenan.

Commissioner Clapprood said multi-agency task forces are much more effective for narcotics investigations because they happen in a number of jurisdictions. This new unit will begin within the next two weeks, giving the current narcotics bureau to finish any open investigation.

Clapprood said she is confident that drug investigations will not be impacted by the formation of this new gun crime unit and neither will regular patrols.