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Mayor Sarno, City Officials and Community Stakeholders hold Initial Roundtable Working Group Discussion to Address Uptick of Gun Violence

|   City News

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno called a roundtable working group with city officials and community stakeholders and clergy today to continue ongoing discussions to form a plan of action to address the uptick of gun violence in the city. This meeting follows up on Mayor Sarno’s previous enhanced public safety announcement and initial meeting with community partners and religious leaders, and is an expansion of the initial working group which will coordinate a collaborative multiprong course of action to reduce criminal activity with an increase in police presence in hot spot areas and continue to enhance, expand and fund key outreach initiatives that will provide proactive and preventative measures for those in need.

Mayor Sarno states, “First, I want to thank all those who were able to attend for their partnership in working together with my administration to not only reduce criminal activity with an increase in police presence but to also consider all options available to us and re-evaluate how our resources are being utilized.  Following up on my enhanced public safety announcement of increased police presence and my initial meeting with community partners and religious leaders, my administration convened this expanded working group meeting where it was unanimously agreed upon by the group that our courts and some judges have not held up to their part of the solution by keeping these repeat violent criminal offenders, which are the 2% of serious criminal activity, locked up and into rehabilitation programs that they need.  To keep releasing these violent criminal offenders back out onto our streets and into our community is foolhardy and only continues the revolving door of our justice system which harms and hurts our community and residents.”

Those community partners, religious leaders and city officials invited to participate included:

  • Bishop Talbert Swan, President of the Greater Springfield NAACP
  • Tania Barber, President and CEO, Caring Health Center
  • Brother Johnnie Muhammad, The Mission Inc. – City’s street outreach program
  • Solomon Baymon, Director for ROCA Western Massachusetts – Re-entry program and City Clean Sweep Initiative partner
  • Archbishop Timothy Paul Baymon, Christian Cathedral
  • Francena Brown, President, & Minister Byrd, Families Against Violence
  • Shannon Rudder, President and CEO, MLK Family Services
  • Vinny Borello, Executive Director, Springfield Boys and Girls Club
  • Keshawn Dodds, Executive Director, Boys and Girls Family Center
  • Jose Claudio, COO, New North Citizens Council
  • Pastor Eli Serrano, Restoration City Church 
  • Wes Jackson, Executive Director, South End Community Center
  • Steve Winn, President and CEO, Michelle Michaelian, VP, & Chelan Brown, VP, BHN – City’s / Springfield Police Department’s Mental Health street outreach partner
  • Angelica Reyes, YMCA North End Community Director
  • Nicole Coakley
  • Pastor Steven Williams, President, & April Robinson, Middle School Principal at Duggan Academy, JC Williams Community Center
  • Hampden County Sheriff Nick Cocchi & Chief Frank Ott – Re-entry Programs
  • State Representative Carlos Gonzalez, Chair of the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security
  • City Councilor Lavar Click-Bruce, Chair of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee
  • City Councilor Maria Perez
  • Helen Caulton-Harris, Commissioner of Health and Human Services 
  • Chrismery Gonzalez, Office of Racial Equity
  • Tony Pettaway, Department of HHS
  • Cheryl Clapprood, Police Superintendent
  • Steven Kent, Deputy Chief
  • Trent Duda, Captain, SPD
  • Daniel Warwick, Superintendent, and Adam Fenn, Springfield Public Schools
  • Judi Crowell, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer
  • Patrick Sullivan, Executive Director of Parks, Buildings and Recreational Management
  • Peter Krupczak, Deputy Director of Parks

Next steps will include investing and enhancing in community outreach and preventative programs and initiatives along with sharing vital contact info and resources with local churches and community stakeholders. 

Mayor Sarno and the community partners will also reach out to the members of the Governors Counsel to invite them to meet with the group to hear directly from the community stakeholders their concerns with our Commonwealth’s Judicial and court system.

“This will continue to be a collaborative outreach effort to rally all of our community stakeholders and partners,” said Mayor Sarno.  “Not only do we need our courts to hold up their end of our partnership to keep our community safe from these repeat violent criminal offenders that are arrested on serious gun charges, as one of the working group members stated, why is it that the late ‘Preacher Man’ spent more time in jail while those arrested for serious violent gun crimes are released on little to no bail?’  My administration, working with Police Superintendent Cheryl Clapprood, Health and Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris and all of our community partners, especially our respected members of the clergy will continue to push hard to mitigate this uptick in gun violence so that no one else has to needlessly die at the hands of these repeat violent offenders.”

“For those that want our help, we will do everything in our power to get them the resources and help they need.  For those who want to continue with a career in guns and drugs, we’ll continue to arrest them and keep them off our streets and out of our neighborhoods so that our children and families can enjoy their homes,” Mayor Sarno emphasized.

Today’s roundtable working group session ended with a promise to share vital information and resources and make it publicly available on the city of Springfield’s website and distribute within the community.  Future roundtable working group meetings will be expanded and will be called to review and address the various issues and topics that were identified and discussed.     

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