In the News

Mayor Sarno and Police Superintendent Clapprood Praise Baker-Polito Administrations Statewide Summer Safety Initiatives

|   City News

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Police Superintendent Cheryl Clapprood praised the Baker-Polito Administration's statewide public safety initiative that helped to reduce crime and enhance community safety. Springfield Police Deputy Chief Steven Kent joined with other state and municipal law enforcement partners for a roundtable discussion to highlight the efforts to reduce street violence, prevent illegal drug distribution and improve quality of life for community members across the Commonwealth.

Funded through the Edward J. Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program, the successful summer safety collaboration resulted in violent offender arrests, reduction of illegally possessed firearms, narcotics seizures and enhanced youth programming. 

Throughout the summer, various Massachusetts State Police (MSP) investigative and patrol units conducted joint operations with five local police departments, including Boston, Brockton, Lawrence, Holyoke and Springfield. Supported by $500,000 in JAG funding, their mission was to enhance community safety by focusing on the enforcement of impact players responsible for drug distribution, firearm violations, street violence and human trafficking. 

Several of the Commonwealth’s District Attorneys also received nearly $1 million in total JAG funding to address community-based criminal activity related to gang violence, illegal firearms and narcotics. Grant-funded programs focused on prevention, intervention, diversion and enforcement efforts, particularly during the summer and early fall when activity is at its peak.

"State and local law enforcement are instrumental in ensuring the safety and welfare of our communities, and it is crucial that public safety officials share a collaborative focus and approach in their continued efforts to reduce and prevent crime,” said Governor Charlie Baker. "I commend this state and local partnership and the collective work to ensure the safety of all Massachusetts residents." 

"We know that strong, community-driven public safety partnerships reduce crime and protect children, families and residents," said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. "Our administration appreciates the hard work and commitment demonstrated by the Massachusetts State Police, municipal law enforcement and the District Attorneys to protect the citizens and communities of the Commonwealth." 

Based on an assessment of crime data submitted by the local municipalities to MSP crime analysts, the JAG-funded summer initiative has successfully reduced violent crime and improved overall public safety. From July through September 2022, specialized MSP units, in collaboration with local law enforcement, made approximately 274 arrests and issued 51 criminal summonses. This effort also resulted in the recovery of 71 illegally possessed firearms and the seizure of nearly 41,365 grams of heroin and fentanyl, 2,895 grams of cocaine and crack, and 3,996 grams of marijuana

Following the summer focus on high-impact offenders, statistics in the five cities showed significant signs of reduced violent crime. 

  1. Boston: Boston Police Department reported a decrease in homicides, homicides by shooting, non-fatal shootings, and total shooting victims from January through September 2022 compared to the same period in 2021. From July through October 2022, the JAG Summer Initiative yielded 53 arrests, 38 firearms and nearly 40,000 grams of narcotics.
  2. Brockton: Brockton Police Department reported decreases in shooting homicides, aggravated assaults with a firearm, and opioid overdoses from July through October 2022, compared to the same period last year. The JAG Summer Initiative yielded 62 arrests, 8 firearms and nearly 4,000 grams of narcotics during this time.
  3. Lawrence: Lawrence Police Department reported a 28.5% percent decrease in confirmed shots-fired calls from July 1 through September 2022 compared to last year. From July through October 2022, the JAG Summer Initiative yielded 70 arrests, 8 firearms and nearly 3,000 grams of narcotics.
  4. Holyoke: Holyoke Police Department reported a 15 percent increase in seizures of illegally owned firearms and a 23 percent decrease in opioid overdoses from July 1- September 2022, compared to the same period in 2021.  From July - October 2022, the JAG Summer Initiative yielded 70 arrests, 8 firearms and nearly 3,000 grams of narcotics.
  5. Springfield: Springfield Police Department reported a 6 percent decrease in aggravated assaults with firearms, a 28 percent decrease in confirmed shots-fired calls, and a decrease in opioid overdoses from July - September 2022, compared to the same period last year. From July - October 2022, the JAG Summer Initiative yielded 52 arrests, 8 firearms and nearly 2,000 grams of narcotics.

Additionally, State Police Gang Unit Troopers utilized JAG funding to further an investigation, along with federal Homeland Security Investigations agents, involving the trafficking of a large volume of narcotics into the United States from another country. While that investigation is ongoing, Troopers and agents have already seized multiple kilograms of trafficked narcotics that otherwise would have fueled violence and addiction in local communities.

The collaborative public safety model among MSP and local police departments began in the spring and summer of 2021 in Western Massachusetts communities, including Springfield, Holyoke and Chicopee. As a result of its success, the initiative extended this summer to other parts of the state, including Boston, Brockton and Lawrence. 

“I want to thank Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito, Colonel Mason, Secretary Reidy, and all of our state and local partners for their leadership and continued dedicated efforts working together to enhance our local Springfield Police Department's public safety initiatives,” said Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, City of Springfield. “Police Superintendent Cheryl Clapprood and I truly appreciate and support this state and local initiative. These collaborative efforts not only helped reduce crime but also greatly enhanced the quality of life for our residents and business community. Only by working together between all state and local agencies can we truly make a difference in our communities.” 

"Massachusetts public safety partnerships are strong, and the level of coordination is unprecedented. The Executive Office of Public Safety and Security enthusiastically embraces its role of supporting and fostering cooperative relationships among law enforcement agencies," said Secretary of Public Safety and Security Terrence Reidy. "This initiative is a testament to the effectiveness of teamwork and underscores our shared commitment to ensuring the safety of all those who live, work, and raise families in our communities across the Commonwealth."

“The results of this summer initiative were the culmination of sustained enforcement over several months undertaken side-by-side with our local police partners, and I am very grateful for those partnerships,” said Colonel Christopher Mason, Superintendent, Massachusetts State Police. “We identified and removed from the streets numerous impact players responsible for gun violence, drug dealing, and other types of crime that destroy neighborhoods. And by interdicting that criminal element, we prevented others from falling victim to the overdoses, shootings, human trafficking, and street crimes with which these defendants are alleged to have committed within our community.”

“The Boston Police Department is grateful to be included in this collaborative effort. We look forward to identifying additional ways we can partner to share best practices and resources to address, crime, and other issues that impact the safety, quality of life, and sense of community of the residents of Boston, whom we serve. The results of this initiative clearly show the value of partnerships,” said Commissioner Michael Cox, Boston Police Department.

“The brave and dedicated women and men in Blue are committed to any and all initiatives that focus on taking criminals off our streets. This state and local partnership supported and enhanced our SPD's continued efforts in reducing and deterring crime and improving the quality of life for our residents and businesses,” said Superintendent Cheryl Clapprood, Springfield Police Department. “I want to acknowledge my leadership team and every one of my officers for their tireless efforts in serving and protecting our neighborhoods. Thanks to our joint efforts, we took numerous illegal guns, including many ghost guns, and drugs off our streets. It is partnerships like this, where everyone works together, that we can make real change.”    

“The Lawrence Police Department is extremely grateful for the continued collaboration we have with the Massachusetts State Police, and other state, regional, and local law enforcement entities,” said Chief Roy Vasque. “The (JAG) Program has played a key role in our successful effort in reducing overall crime particularly violent crimes. This effort has enabled us to remove violent individuals and illegal firearms from our city’s streets, making them safer for our residents.”     

Participating agencies and units include MSP's Gang Unit, High Risk Victims Unit, Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section, Hampden, Essex, and Plymouth State Police Detective Units, the Commonwealth Interdiction and Narcotics Enforcement Teams, and Troop Community Action Teams, as well as officers from the Boston, Brockton, Lawrence, Holyoke, and Springfield police departments.

The following Massachusetts District Attorneys’ Offices received JAG funding: Suffolk, Berkshire, Cape and Islands, Hampden, Middlesex, Norfolk, Northwestern and Plymouth. Each agency received funds that were split evenly between two project areas: crime suppression efforts and projects focused on intervention and prevention.  Among projects undertaken with these JAG funds were summer programming for Pittsfield youth and the purchase of investigative tools to address drug trafficking in Berkshire County; the purchase of tablets in Norfolk County for Randolph Police Department juvenile outreach officers to use in the field and funds for staffing with the goal of reducing gun violence in the city; and support for a Worcester County program providing services to youth at high risk of gang involvement partnered with targeted prosecutions of gang-related activity.

“The Randolph grant was conceived to bring the community and the police department closer together, working to prevent the kinds of tensions that can boil over into problems,” Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey said. “I credit Chief Anthony Marag and his department both for their vision and for their successful implementation that led to a remarkably peaceful summer in Randolph.”

Since assuming office in 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration has distributed more than $25 million in federal JAG grants, which are administered by the U.S. Department of Justice. The Office of Grants and Research (OGR), a state agency that is part of EOPSS, is the state administering agency (SAA) that distributes the federal funds to law enforcement and prosecutor’s offices across Massachusetts. Since its inception in 2005, the JAG Program has provided states, tribes and local governments with $7 billion in critical funding. The program has supported and promoted improvements in every aspect of the justice system, from policing to prosecution and public defense to corrections and reentry from incarceration. Its impact on advancing public safety and equal justice has been significant and consequential.

“No one agency can keep the public safe. We can best serve Massachusetts communities through collaborative efforts to reduce violence and ensure accountability. The success of the JAG-funded efforts is a shared achievement made possible by our federal, state, and local partners,” said OGR Executive Director Kevin Stanton.  “The Office of Grants and Research is committed to furthering our mission of stewarding available resources to improve the safety of Commonwealth communities.”


Justice Assistance Grant Recipient






MSP-Western MA (Springfield/Holyoke)





Justice Assistance Grant Recipient


Suffolk District Attorney’s Office


Berkshire District Attorney’s Office


Cape & Islands District Attorney’s Office


Hampden District Attorney’s Office


Middle District Attorney’s Office


Middlesex District Attorney’s Office


Norfolk District Attorney’s Office


Northwestern District Attorney’s Office


Plymouth District Attorney’s Office



Media Contact: Elaine Driscoll |  | 617.366.9312

Page last updated:  Tuesday, March 1, 2022 01:32 pm