Springfield Police crack down on juvenile-involved crimes uptick

Springfield Police crack down on juvenile-involved crimes uptick
Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 7:07 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Over the past two weeks, Springfield Police have been cracking down on criminal activity involving juveniles, which is leading to questions over what is being done to prevent the youth in the city from participating in illegal activity.

On Monday, officers were called to the Eastfield Mall for a gun call. They later arrested an 18-year-old with a criminal record as a juvenile, who police said flashed a firearm at a victim before leaving the premises.

On Wednesday, two teens were arrested on firearms charges with a gun.

On Wednesday, September 14, officers arrested a 15-year-old boy, who is facing 24 charges related to breaking and entering into motor vehicles as well as a 16-year-old on 22 similar charges.

Western Mass News getting answers and reached out to Springfield City Councilor and chair of public safety Victor Davila, who said he is shocked to hear about juveniles with guns and committing such crimes.

“When I was 16 years old, I was just being a 16-year-old boy, so I find it absolutely terrifying,” Davila said.

He told us young people need more support.

“We need to make sure they have mental health components. We need to make sure the school department is fully invested in them. We need help from everybody. The cops can’t solve all the problems, we also need to support them as well,” Davila added.

Western Mass News spoke with State Representative Carlos Gonzalez, who shared what he believes will help solve youth crime issues in the city of Springfield.

“Investing in our youth early will help prevent our youth from getting involved in illegal activities and also education starts at home. Parents have to play a little bit more of a role in their lives with their children and who they surround themselves with,” Gonzalez said.

He also pointed to the need for more prevention work.

“The more the city can do, the state can do to provide more opportunity for our youth through recreation and educational programs in a preventative way would be the best way to provide a safer community for all of us,” Gonzalez added.