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Mayor Sarno, City and State Officials, and Community Stakeholders Continue to Work Together to Mitigate Gun Violence with Roundtable Working Group Meeting and Discussion

|   City News

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno met again with city and state officials, and community stakeholders and clergy today to continue ongoing discussions to share information and development an all-encompassing comprehensive plan of action to address and mitigate the uptick of gun violence in the city.

This meeting follows up on a previous meeting Mayor Sarno had with Springfield Police and local, state and federal public safety partners on Monday, including 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.

Today’s roundtable discussion is an expansion of the previous community stakeholders meeting that was held on July 11th and rally that was held on July 31st on School Street to highlight the recent significant arrests made by our local, state and federal publics safety agencies.  Since those arrests were made on School Street, and with the courts and judges holding those arrested, there has not be one shot spotter alert/incident on School Street. 

 Mayor Sarno states, “I want to again thank all those who were able to attend this important community stakeholder’s roundtable meeting and discussion 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 within our community to provide resources, information, funding and innovative ideas and initiatives for proactive and preventative measures.  There are many group programs and institutions out there that do tremendous work in our community.  Those individuals and families that want help for themselves or a loved one, everyone here in this community stakeholders’ group are committed to getting them the help and resources they need.”

“Today, we shared innovative ideas that we will be working to implement, including a universal community center pass for our South End Community Center, Springfield Boys and Girls Club and the Boys and Girls Family Center.  These passes will be shared with our brave and dedicated Police Officers for them to share and distribute to youth and families in need,” said Mayor Sarno.  “In addition, my office and the Office of Health and Human Services (HHS), working with HHS Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Judi Crowell and Chrismery Gonzalez from the Office of Racial Equity, have put together and distributed a first draft of our resource guide that lists a wealth of information of services and programs from our local nonprofits and agencies.  This it yet another important tool in our collaborative response to help mitigate violence in our community.”

“There is no such thing as a bad neighborhood, just bad actors.  I want to thank this working group for standing together in solidarity with me and our public safety officials as we made some significant arrests in the School, Union, Temple and High Street corridor.  Our voices were heard and those bad actors have been kept and held by our courts and judges.  As I have previously called out our court system for setting little to no bail and releasing these violent repeat criminal offenders back into our streets and into our neighborhoods, I now want commend and thank our courts and judges to holding these individuals.  Since their arrests, there has not been one shot spotter activation on School Street,” said Mayor Sarno.

 Those community partners, religious leaders and city and state officials participating 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; Isaiah Dilmorall and Jarix Santiago, 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 Castro, YMCA North End Community Director
  • Pastor Steven Williams, President, & April Robinson, Middle School Principal at Duggan Academy, JC Williams Community Center
  • Nicole Lussier, Director of Open Pantry Community Services
  • Vilenti Tulloch, CEO, Academic Leadership Association
  • Jose Delgado, Chief Engagement Officer, Executive Office of Public Safety and Security
  • 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
  • City Councilor Tracye Whitfield
  • Helen Caulton-Harris, Commissioner of Health and Human Services 
  • Dr. Aretha Townsend, Deputy Health Commissioner, HHS
  • Chrismery Gonzalez, Office of Racial Equity
  • Tony Pettaway, Department of HHS
  • Cheryl Clapprood, Police Superintendent
  • Steven Kent, Deputy Chief
  • Lawrence Akers, 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

Mayor Sarno also announced that funding through the Shannon Grant initiative would be open on Monday, August 21st, and encouraged those organizations in attendance to apply for funding. 

State Representative Carlos Gonzalez provided an updated on the Ghost Gun legislation and Mayor Sarno again encouraged the state delegation to support his Bail Reform legislation. 

An emphasis on continuing to support and enhance funding for programs and initiatives that work with mental health, youth services, jobs and career workforce training, education, and community centers and churches was also expressed. 

“This will continue to be a collaborative outreach effort to rally all of our community stakeholders and partners,” said Mayor Sarno.  “As I have stated before, this community stakeholders’ group will expand to include additional community partners so that we can all work together to save lives and continue to healing process within our community.  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.”

Today’s roundtable working group session ended with a promise to continue to share vital information and resources and make it publicly available to everyone in the community.  Future roundtable working groups and subgroup 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