SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield Police Commissioner John Barbieri admits his officers cannot be everywhere at all times. That’s why he’s asking neighbors to be the eyes and the ears on the streets.
19 gunshot victims in two months. Since April 6th, Springfield Police have investigated at least one shooting per week.
22News talked to one woman who has lived in Springfield for nearly 70 years. Donna Seymour said the City has changed, unfortunately for the worse, not for the better.
“Used to be a few businesses up here and of course, drugs, everything shut down and moved out. All in all this is my home and I love my home. And I hate to see it go like this, going this way,” said Seymour.
Delisa Miranda of Springfield told 22News, “You know we have a young child, a new generation coming in. That’s what my concern is and I hope that’s what his concern is too. These young kids. I have kids of my own and I worry about their safety.”
Tuesday night, Maple High Six Corners neighbors met with Commissioner Barbieri. They told 22News drugs, guns and street crimes should not define Springfield.
“We built a good life there. We know there are good people that live there. I can walk down my neighborhood and you know, I say hi to everybody. They say hi back,” Linda Bartlett told 22News.
Commissioner Barbieri told 22News finding and stopping habitual criminals can be difficult because witnesses will not cooperate. He said neighbors often refuse to share what they know or what they saw.
He said “The 2% of the people that cause problems, they tend to be repeat offenders over and over again because nobody will step forward in identifying them. Nobody will come and tell us what’s going on.”
22News asked “Is that a challenge that you face, really every single week? Every single day?” And Barbieri responded, “In every major urban police department, it is a challenge. It is a continual challenge.”
Barbieri told the Maple High Six Corners Neighborhood Council, people should speak up, if they see any suspicious activities.
Springfield Police have an anonymous tip line. You should start your text message with the word “Solve” and send your message to “Crimes” or 274637.