State police study reveals gun arrests in Springfield - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

State police study reveals gun arrests in Springfield

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A state police study is revealing the amount of gun arrests in Springfield.

State police compiled data from 2011 that showed that 18 to 24 year olds in the city are getting arrested for guns at a much higher rate than surrounding cities.

Police compared the three major cities in Hampden County: Springfield, Holyoke and Chicopee.

They study these crime trends so they can better equip themselves to fight it.

According to the data:

  • Arrests for gun-related crimes are more common in Springfield than the comparable surrounding cities.
  • The 18- to 24-year-old age group is the higher offending group.
  • Weapons violations are the most frequent criminal charges for gun-related crimes in Hampden County.

Springfield parents are especially concerned.

"When you got a family and you're raising kids, you don't want them growing up out here where there's a lot of gun action and gun fighting in the world," said Buddy Andrews.

"It troubles me, it's hard to leave them outside to play in this area," said Luis Colon.

For Andrews they're more than numbers.

Dwayne Kelly, the city's 10th murder victim this year, was just 19 when he was shot three weeks ago.

Andrews knew him well.

"He wasn't nothing but 19 years old, I watched that kid grow up," he said.

The data shows just how far gun crimes are surging in Springfield beyond nearby cities.

Twenty-eight gun related arrests were made in Springfield just for 18- to 24-year-olds in 2011, compared to four in Holyoke, and one in Chicopee.

For people like Andrews, that high number doesn't even come as a surprise.

"I see it all the time, young kids come in and out, kids get out and come back with 100 years for being behind a gun," he said.

Data like this is used by local, state and federal law enforcement who can tailor their strategies to target these specific crimes.

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