In the News

Mayor Sarno, Springfield Police Meet with Local, State and Federal Partners to Address Uptick in Gun Violence

|   City News

On Monday August 14th, Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, Springfield Police Deputy Chief Steve Kent, Deputy Chief Lawrence Akers, Captain Brian Keenan met with representatives from the Massachusetts State Police; Troop B, Commonwealth Interstate Narcotics Reduction Enforcement Team (CINRET West) and Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section (VFAS), Hampden County Sheriff’s Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to strategize ways from the law enforcement side to address this recent uptick in gun violence.

From June 1st to August 14th in 2022 there were 21 shooting incidents, compared to 20 shooting incidents in that same time period in 2023.  There were only two homicides of the 21 shooting incidents in 2022, while there has been 12 homicides in the 20 shooting incidents in 2023.  There have been four homicides by gun violence since August 6th

Springfield Police Superintendent Cheryl Clapprood stated, "These recent homicides have been targeted and are believed to be unrelated to one another.   Our Homicide Unit under the direction of Captain Trent Duda is making progress on these investigations.   The one common thread is the individuals involved and or suspected to be involved for the most part have a history with illegal firearms.  What we are seeing is more fully automatic firearms and ghost guns than ever before and while there is a slight increase in shootings this year, we have seen more than 70% increase in the amount of firepower we recover.  That is troubling.  I do assure you, our dedicated Homicide Unit is working around the clock to try and bring justice to these victims’ families."

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno states, “First of all, no matter what the circumstances any loss of life is tragic.  My thoughts and prayers go out to the effected families.  The gun violence is a nationwide epidemic and needs to stop.  Families and loved ones are grieving.  What makes this situation even worse, is that the recent targeted criminal activity involving illegal guns could have been avoided as these crimes many a times were committed by repeat violent criminal offenders.  Criminal suspects that often times have prior arrests and pending charges, most of the time involving illegal and ghost guns, but yet our courts and some judges believe these repeat violent criminal offenders are ok and not a threat to our residents and business community.  Yet, here we are again, as these violent criminal offenders continue to harass our neighborhoods and terrorize our streets.  Lives could’ve been saved and families not grieving if our courts and some judges just did their job and kept these 1-2% of bad actors in jail and off our streets and out of our neighborhoods.”

“Public safety will always remain my administrations number one priority.  I have spoken with Terry Reidy, Secretary of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, over the weekend and again this morning about increased suppression patrols and he has reassured me and Police Superintendent Cheryl Clapprood that we will have the continued and increased support and partnership from the State Police to tackle this recent uptick of gun violence head on.  We will also continue to work with all of our local, state and federal public safety partners, including the ATF, DEA, Hampden County Sheriff Nick Cocchi, District Attorney Anthony Gulluni - who I both spoke too over the weekend, and the State Police.  In addition, with Governor Maura Healey recently signing the state Fiscal Year 2024 budget, my administration will look to continue our partnerships with all of our public safety agencies and community partners to seek state funding to support community outreach initiatives and enhanced enforcement to help with the suppression of criminal activity, especially in cases involving illegal guns and ghost guns.”  

“Let’s cut to the chase here, these bad actors have not and do not take advantage of the multitude of proactive and preventative programs my administration funds in our schools, youth development, mental health, street outreach, jobs, community centers, re-entry programs, etc., just to name a few.  The only thing they would understand is incarceration.  In the meantime, I will continue to meet with community stakeholders to keep all our youth and young adults on a positive path, so that they know there is no need for them to go down a negative path.”

Mayor Sarno along with the Springfield Police Department will reconvene with the Community stakeholders group to continue their discussions about the recent acts of gun violence, along with sharing information that was gathered about everyone’s programs and initiatives.

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