PRESS RELEASE, CONTACT: Jim Leydon, Communications Director
SPRINGFIELD POLICE DEPARTMENT ORDINANCE UNIT CONDUCTS COORDINATED SWEEP
July 25, 2014 –Springfield, MA- On Friday, July 25, 2014 members of the Springfield Police Department Ordinance Unit and K-9 Unit converged on the following streets in the Mason Square area and concentrated on “quality of life” issues in the neighborhood. The following streets were targeted: Cambridge Street, Oak Grove Avenue, Burr Street, Andrews Street, Kenyon Street, Mapledell Street and Dawes Street.
Officer William Witherspoon is the Ordinance Officer for this sector and he coordinated the operation and chose what “troubled” streets to concentrate their efforts on. During the operation Officers Mark Kenney, Joe Piemonte, Keith Fleming, Craig Staples, Rafael Vega, William Witherspoon, K9 Officer Timmy Morrow and Sgt. John Delaney walked the neighborhood and issued city ordinance violations. In total 76 ordinance violations were issued for trash, overgrowth, unregistered cars on premises, trash barrels left out, mattresses, trash, as well as other violations including; one parking ticket and one moving violation.
During the walk around officers spoke with residents that came out and asked what was going on. According to Sgt. Delaney many residents applauded the effort of the officers and were very appreciative of the attention their streets were given.
Many residents pointed out a problem property that will now receive special attention from the Springfield Police, Housing and Code Enforcement Departments. Residents identified a dwelling as the focal point of illegal activity where gang members are hanging around.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno stated, “This was an imitative started early in my administration and is very important to me. The “Flex Squad” not only deals with quality of life issues but sometimes these pro-active attacks can nip in the bud other negative activities as well as involve other city departments to assist in tackling some problems. I commend Sgt. Delaney and the Springfield Police Department Ordinance Squad as well as Housing Deputy Director Dave Cotter and Building Commissioner Steve Desilets and their respective Housing and Code Enforcement team for all of their dedicated efforts.”
This effort comes on the heels of a similar effort in Indian Orchard last week when Officer Joseph Piemonte coordinated the effort to converge on the area of Water Street in Indian Orchard for a problem with a mini “tent city”. Individuals had set up camp on the banks of the Chicopee River on the Springfield side. The Indian Orchard Citizens Council complained that these individuals converge on the area, drink, leave a mess and cause numerous other problems.
In addition to the police presence, the Mayor’s Clean Cities program led by Mr. Rick Mastroianni assisted with a very sizable clean-up effort along the banks of the Chicopee River. Sgt. John Delaney also contacted ROCA and had a youth work crew assist Clean Cities in the cleaning efforts.
The crew took away 3 full dump truck loads of tents, chairs, rugs, mattresses, pallets, shopping carts, debris, trash and empty bottles caused by the people calling this spot their residence.
While the clean-up was taking place all the Ordinance Officers covered the surrounding streets checking for various ordinance violations in the area. The following streets were covered: Water Street, Centre Street, Pinevale Street, Quebec Street, Worcester Street, Indian Leap Street and Whipple Street. Over 30 Ordinance Violations this morning in this area. Citizens that live on Water Street came out to greet the officers an applauded the effort as well as offering bottled water to the officers and ROCA workers.
Next week Officer Keith Fleming is planning an Ordinance Squad sweep in the North End.