This targeted enforcement is in line with federal efforts to reduce violent crime, which recognizes that law enforcement resources are most effective when focusing on the most significant drivers of gun violence and violent crime.
Police Superintendent Clapprood stated, “We identified trends and patterns locally and nationally and wanted to get ahead of the curve by creating this unit to focus on proactively getting illegal firearms off our streets. The results have exceeded my expectations. I would like to thank Captain Brian Keenan for leading this unit since its inception. They have arrested hundreds of dangerous armed felons and have done so without a single substantiated excessive force complaint. There is no doubt that having this unit wear Body-Cameras has increased its transparency as well as the public’s trust while decreasing frivolous lawsuits. We will continue to focus on illegal firearms to help save lives and keep the uptick in gun violence in check.”
In a five year span from 2015-2019, the former Narcotics Unit which focused on drugs seized 244 illegal firearms compared to the 315 illegal firearms the FIU has seized in two years.
Springfield Police Captain Brian Keenan stated, “Drugs and guns go hand in hand, but we shifted our unit’s focus to illegal firearms at the right time. We are seeing more illegal firearms than ever before, Ghost Guns are extremely accessible as are Glock Switches which turn a firearm into a fully-automatic weapon. Since there’s no fear of incarceration these suspects we encounter are becoming more and more brazen as our Detectives have had loaded firearms pointed at them on numerous occasions. Yet, we continue to perform our duty in a professional manner.”
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno stated, “I want to commend Police Superintendent Cheryl Clapprood for identifying the trend of an increase in illegal firearms and ghost guns and creating the Firearms Investigation Unit to tackle this growing issue. In the two years since the FIU was created, over 300 illegal firearms have been taken off our streets. I can only imagine the number of lives this action has saved. Special shoutout to Captain Brian Keenan and all of our brave and dedicated men and women of our Springfield Police Department for their continued efforts in keeping our community safe. I truly believe that thanks to their unyielding efforts, they have saved countless lives by removing these illegal guns and ghost guns from our streets and arresting these violent repeat criminal offenders that continue to put our residents and business community in danger with their brazen criminal activity due to the courts and some judges not holding them accountable for these serious violent crimes they are committing against my residents.”
“I will continue to fight against crime and stand up for my residents and business community by working with our community partners and stakeholders to enhance proactive and preventative measures and continue my push for stronger bail reform legislation that I have again refiled through State Representative Angelo Puppolo,” said Mayor Sarno.
On Monday July 12th FIU Detectives seized a loaded firearm and arrested 20-year-old Damian Ramos Jr. near the intersection of Hancock and Union Streets.
Detectives had been investigating Ramos for the past several weeks and applied for a search warrant for his home. On Monday around 4:45 p.m. Detectives conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle Ramos was driving. Detectives recovered a loaded firearm from his pocket. During the execution of the search warrant at his home on Union Street Detectives seized additional ammunition.
20-year-old Damian Ramos Jr. of Springfield is charged with:
- Carrying a Firearm without a License
- Carrying a Loaded Firearm without a License
- Possession of Ammunition without an FID Card
- Receiving Stolen Property Less than $1200