Springfield city councilors propose public safety package - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Springfield city councilors propose public safety package

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A proposal for a new public safety initiative is now in the hands of Springfield's City Council.

Councilors Michael Fenton and Timothy Allen put three ordinances before the city council Monday night all with the goal of public safety.

The entire proposal went to committee by a 13-0 vote.

"The city feels victimized by the public safety or by the perception of public safety," said Councilor Timothy Allen.

The proposal comes on the heels of the city's fourth homicide of the year. The two councilors hope taking illegal guns off the streets can detract from crime.

"We think it's an effective step to taking a more proactive approach to solve some of the more specific concerns that we have," said Councilor Michael Fenton.

The plan lays out a system of enforcement and community involvement.

The councilors say their main ordinance, confiscating and impounding vehicles that are found with illegal guns inside, would help generate funds for their second ordinance.

That consists of a creation of task forces such as a gun squad, a neighborhood public safety fund that would allow each ward to determine their own public safety needs, and an illegal gun tip line.

The final ordinance would be creating a nightlife and entertainment commission to help battle to improve public safety downtown.

Those ordinances are combined with five resolutions that include creating a gun court, a youth commission and endorsing drop-out prevention legislation.

The two city councilors believe the comprehensive plan will not only help take illegal guns off the streets and out of the hands of criminals, but engage the city's neighborhoods to take back their public safety.

"Do some things that are new to throw a curve-ball at the people who are making our city less safe and put a little more control back in our hands rather than theirs," said Allen.

The drop-out prevention resolution has gone on to the school committee. The rest of the plan is now in the hands of the public safety committee.

Future meetings are in the works before that plan makes its way to law.

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