Springfield Mayor Calls on State Police Amid Violence
Amid a sudden rise in both violent and deadly crime, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno is calling upon the State Police to perform increased patrols in the city. Two people have been shot to death since August 11th and several others have been injured by gunfire in recent weeks.
The latest incident happened Friday, when two men were shot during a home invasion. One of the victims, 29-year-old Nicholas Ruiz-Gomez, died Sunday from a gunshot wound to the head. The home invasion occurred only a few blocks from the mayor's residence. Sarno says the State Police Community Action Team, along with Springfield Police, will focus on traffic patrols in areas where the instance of crime has been the highest.
"This is data-based driving traffic, where areas that there are high traffic accidents occurring, many times it correlates to a hotspot areas, and this pretty much a flooding, or I want to say at times, a lockdown of areas where people will be pulled over. And if you're doing nothing wrong, you have nothing to worry about at that time. "
Even though he is calling on the State Police to help, Sarno says he is confident in the ability of the city's Police Department to continue fighting crime.
"We have the best team on the streets, not these thugs, and 'wannabes', that all of the sudden become tough guys with a gun".
Sarno says these crimes are not random acts and are centered around gang and drug activity. With many young people involved, Sarno reaffirmed his stance that parents need to take a more active role in their children's lives to help keep them away from negative influences. While the last few weeks have been violent in Springfield, the city's crime rate is down six percent from last year. For New England Public Radio, I'm Adam Frenier.