Violence walk unites city residents and police - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Violence walk unites city residents and police

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

This is what you usually hear about Springfield: shootings, stabbings and gang violence. But when a community comes together, it's important to take notice. 

8-year-old Brian Lawrence got his very own badge on Wednesday.

"This was the first time that the officers actually gave me something," said Lawrence. 

I watched Brian interact with the officers. He hugged them, laughed with them and played with them. He treated every single one of the officers as if they were old friends of his.

"They stop the badness on the streets and they help people that need help, bring them to safety and justice," the 8-year-old said. 

On Wednesday, city residents and police walked together to let the community know that they care. They know this won't stop violence entirely. But, it does show something. That this community is standing strong together. They aren't giving up hope. 

"We're just good people coming out and making aware of the problems that exist and working as a unit to try and solve these problems," said City Councilor Bud Williams. 

The Police Commissioner says that crime is down in the city, but there is still much more work that needs to be done. 

"Without them, it's really almost impossible for us to keep the neighborhood safe. They're our eyes and ears," said Barbieri. "The communities have been reporting and they're telling us where the problems are and assisting us in resolving the issues."

And maybe it's the people who come out of their houses to see what's going on, that see police and residents holding hands and make a change. 

"We're trying to do the right thing," said Dan Jones from Springfield.  

Because after all, it's times like this that 8-year-old Brian will remember. 

"It's walking with them to let them know we're one big team to solve the problems within our community," said Pastor Atu White. 

Copyright 2015 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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