July 15, 2011 – Mayor Domenic J. Sarno held an hour-long meeting today in his city hall office with Police Commissioner William Fitchet, Sheriff Michael Ashe, representatives from the Hampden County District Attorney’s Office and the City’s Police, Law and School Departments to discuss ways to be more effective with combating the issues of youth and gang violence.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno stated “I scheduled this meeting because I wanted to reevaluate all of the options the City has available to continue with our ongoing youth and gang violence initiatives. We discussed programs such as the U.S. Marshals Gang Resistance Education and Training ‘GREAT’ Program and the Neutral Corner Program.”
During the meeting, representatives from the Springfield Police Department discussed some of the proactive steps they have been taking including:
- Additional uniformed patrols;
- Increased narcotic bureau patrols; and
- Springfield Police Department Anti-gang patrols in collaboration with the Massachusetts State Police and FBI.
Law enforcement officials also expressed a need for additional targeted warrant apprehension sweeps.
“The City can and must do more and these acts of violence and murders that are affecting so many of our City’s youth has got to stop,” stated Mayor Sarno. “The gang against gang and drug related killings are senseless and we must continue to strive to eliminate this violence. This situation continues to put us on the defensive in moving our City forward.”
Mayor Sarno also indicated that he will be hosting a summit at Springfield City Hall to discuss ways city and community leaders to combat youth and gang violence issue. Details of the summit are expected to be released in the coming days.