WESTFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — With downtown Westfield on an upswing, the increased foot and motor traffic is not only bringing customers to business. It’s bringing concerns of public safety. Today, an open forum between the Westfield Police and Westfield residents and business owners.
“It is changing. It is changing and there’s more pedestrian traffic and more traffic in general so helping to provide that safe inviting environment to help Westfield move itself to the next level and thrive,” says Maureen Belliveau from the Westfield Business Improvement District.
“There is a lot of foot traffic in the evening. People a lot of times don’t feel secure walking around downtown. We want to do what we can to change that,” adds Westfield Police Sgt. Eric Hall
Millions of federal and state dollars are expected to pour into Westfield to fuel their downtown growth and before the expansion brings potential problems, law enforcement wanted to be pro-active and engaged
“I can look around and the police department can look around and we can tell you what we think are the issues but until you sit down with the pople who are affected downtown, we don’t really know what the issues are until we open those dialogues.”
Many business owners say that open dialogue has already been successful
“Ive been very satisfied all along with the cooperation that exists between the police department and the bid and the city and i just look forward to it continuing,” says local artist Marie Flahive.