SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – In the wake of the most recent gun-related tragedy in Springfield, which took the life of a 10-year-old girl, we are hearing from city leaders on how they’re addressing this rise in violence.
Public safety has become a major concern for this area, and Thursday, city leaders discussed how to combat these violent acts and provide their residents with some peace of mind.
“It’s an unfortunate situation but we are going to get through this,” said Deputy Chief Larry Akers of Springfield police.
Gun and drug violence continues to devastate the streets of Springfield. Leaders in the community, holding a meeting to address what’s becoming a major public safety hazard. “The neighborhoods are not bad,” said Mayor Domenic Sarno. “You have very good people in those neighborhoods. It’s the bad apples in that neighborhood.”
Between June 1st to August 14th, there has been just over 20 shooting incidents in the city of Springfield, most recently a shooting on Marble Street, which led to the arrest of three people and police seizing four illegal firearms.
State Representative, Carlos González, tells 22News, “The city of Springfield has removed 200-something guns off the street–26 to 30 of those are ghost guns, and while other of those have serial numbers or had them, and those are the ones we want to track and trace, because legal guns are becoming illegal guns.”
Also discussed during that meeting, mitigating gun violence with a proactive approach, by reaching high risk youth, and their families, with mental health services and local programming. “We can help them think differently and disrupt any negative thoughts process, send them to ROCA. We are more than willing to pour into those young people,” says Solomon Baymon, ROCA Director of Western Massachusetts.
Springfield Public Schools Superintendent Daniel Warwick adds, “We realize we have a lot more work to do, and we are going to continue to work with the community, because its the community support that makes the difference for our kids like the Boys Club did for me.”
Next Wednesday at 7 p.m., the Springfield Diocese will be holding a vigil in response to the violence in Springfield.