Springfield police commissioner asks for public's help - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Springfield police commissioner asks for public's help in combating crime

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During a time in which Springfield has seen a spike in recent criminal activity,  Police Commissioner John Barbieri is sending a message to residents.

On Tuesday night, he spoke with Springfield residents during a forum at the Mason Square Senior Center.

Barbieri said the police have a handle on the violence in the city. However, he also said they could use extra help from residents.

"In the bigger cities where the people are economically impacted there's less of a level of cooperation with police," Barbieri said.

Barbieri is trying to change that.

He's asking residents to report any type of crime activity happening in their neighborhoods.

"On every block is a neighborhood resident. It may not be a police officer but they're the eyes of the police department,  if they're willing to cooperate with the police and assist us," he said. 

Barbieri said even the smallest incident reported could prevent a bigger problem from happening later.

"A shooter who causes a minor injury could be the person who kills your relative tomorrow, who kills a small child in a park," he said. 

The commissioner said he has established a five-point plan to combat the recent violence.

He said Springfield police are collaborating with federal, state and local law enforcement officials, and are adding multiple patrols in the high crime areas where recent shootings have taken place.

But he said if residents don't want to cooperate with police when these violent crimes take place, it's harder for them to prevent more from happening.

"If the neighborhood residents in the community cooperate with police, tell us the license plates, tell us what's going on, and more importantly the victims and witnesses that are right there, if they don't communicate, it's almost impossible," he said. 

Barbieri said it's a civic duty as a resident to report illegal activity, even if it's happening in your own home.

"If you know somebody who is carrying a gun or selling drugs, don't you bare a certain moral responsibility to the rest of the community to make that stop happening?" he said. 

Police have an anonymous line which you can call or text into to report any crime happening from your neighborhood. Simply text "SOLVE" to 274637.

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