Crime in Springfield is down again

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Crime in the City of Springfield has decreased for the seventh consecutive year.

A new report from the FBI shows that overall crime in Springfield decreased by 4 percent from 2019 to 2020. That’s a 25-year low. The amount of violent crime reported in the city was the third lowest since the FBI began releasing data in 1995.

2019 Crime in Massachusetts by City >>

  • From 2019 to 2020: Overall Crime decreased by 4%
  • From 2019 to 2020: Violent Crime increased by 6%
  • From 2019 to 2020: Property Crime decreased by 7%
  • From 2010 to 2020: Overall Crime decreased by 46%
  • From 2010 to 2020: Violent Crime decreased by 29%
  • From 2010 to 2020: Property Crime decreased by 51%

Springfield’s Real-time Control Center has a lot to do with the decline in crime. It opened in 2018 inside the Springfield Police Department Headquarters. The center receives live feeds from cameras across the city where analysts are able to access a wide variety of surveillance technologies, including automated license plate readers and gunshot detection.

“A lot of it is the real-time analysis center using some methods to put them in the right places when there is a situation utilizing our city cameras to ensure that as they arrive they know the difference between the suspect and the potential good Samaritans out there,” said Springfield Police Spokesperson Ryan Walsh.

Overall, violent crime in Massachusetts has dropped by 3.6 percent and property crimes by 7.2 percent. However, that’s doesn’t hold true nationwide. Violent crime is up nearly 5.6 percent from 2019 to 2020, and murders increased nearly 30 percent across the country. A lot of that attributed to the pandemic and the opioid crisis.

“Other than that all categories here in Springfield are down. That’s not for us to cheer, there is more work to be done. We have to continue to get to the root causes of these issues,” said Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno.

One of the root causes Mayor Sarno explained was repeat violent offenders and getting them off the streets.

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno stated, “This is a testament to Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood and her leadership team at SPD. Our brave and dedicated men and women in blue do a tremendous job in keeping our residents and business community as safe as they possibly can as we continue to balance public safety and cop accountability aspects. From addressing traffic violations and quality of life issues such as seizing illegal firearms and dirt bikes, to investigating serious violent crimes from repeat offenders, the dedicated units and divisions of our SPD have never stop working for our community even as we continue to work together to defeat this COVID-19 pandemic. Under Commissioner Clapprood’s leadership our SPD has initiated numerous initiatives and reforms to address quality of life issues and help reduce overall crime. This recent FBI Annual Uniform Crime Report further supports that our local efforts with our state, regional and federal partners is a successful working model.”

“Our Springfield Police officers work hard every day to make the city a safer place for our residents and visitors. Over the past year we’ve continued to work amid the COVID-19 pandemic and a large spike in gun violence in cities across the country. Our officers seized a city-record 275 illegally possessed firearms in 2020, and given this pattern, the Firearms Investigation Unit created this year will help us continue to address this trend,” Commissioner Clapprood said. “Additionally, our Real-Time Crime Analysis Unit (R-TAC) continues to assist us with data-driven approaches to crime prevention by proactively putting our officers in the best positions to deter crime and provide real-time support in unpredictable situations. With the support of Mayor Sarno, the strategies this department has implemented continue to help us address crime in the city and help us save lives.”

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