SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) – It was an initiative that started 700 miles away, but it could have an impact right here in Hampden County. The High Point, North Carolina police force put strategies in place that reduced violent crimes and drug markets.
Today, the city’s former police chief shared the keys to their success with law enforcement from Western Massachusetts.
“It’s a dual approach,” said Jim Fealy, former police chief for High Point. “It’s a strong message from the community. A message that we don’t like what you’re doing and we’re not going to tolerate it any longer.”
Fealy says targeting the root of crime is the best approach. Police also meet with community members and families of those involved in crime. They explain the consequences of dealing drugs and violence. They also provide resources to try and keep people from re-offending. Their efforts brought the crime down by 20 percent.
“In High Point, it’s become the way we do business as a city, not just as police. It’s very well supported throughout city government. Our community loves it because of its success,” said Fealy.
Springfield and Holyoke plan to implement these strategies right away, but it will take several years to see the desired results.