What is Springfield Doing About Gang Violence?
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB)– In the early hours of Saturday Sept. 21st, 25-year-old Adriana Bonet was shot on Armory and Worthington Streets. Later on that evening, 28-year-old father of 3 Brandon Daniels was killed on Walnut street, on his birthday.
Early Saturday morning, 22-year-old John Alexander was shot on Westminster St., making it the 3rd murder in 2 weekends in Springfield. Police say this incident was gang related.
Mayor Domenic Sarno is well aware of the city’s plight. “I am not going to speak about any named ties. I’m not going to glorify them; I’m not going to give them any credence, period. We have local officers on federal and state task force, gun task force; narcotic task force. Gang intelligence meetings are held constantly. The information’s ever changing, all the way from DYS, all the way up to the federal authorities,” he stated.
This is in addition to the stepped up police presence in Mason Square and C-3 unit in the North End.
There are also weekly meetings with local authorities, the Hampden County District Attorney and Assistant Attorney General. “We work off hot lists, many times some of these individuals have been arrested, and understand there has to be due process, but sometimes these people are back out on the street,” added Mayor Sarno.
While those meetings hope to ensure that these types of criminals remain locked up, at the latest vigil, Mayor Sarno pushed the community to nix a disturbing trend. “To urge that crowd to come forward with information. because believe you me, there are people in that crowd who know exactly what happened, and know exactly who did it, and there are anonymous ways to get that information across.”
If not, the Mayor says then neighbors will continue being part of the problem, rather than the solution.
Mayor Sarno says police are still investigating, all cases, and that they’re hopeful an arrest will come soon. However, according to an FBI report released earlier this month, in 2012, Springfield had its second lowest violent crime rate in 28 years.