SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – There have been nine homicides in Springfield in the first three months of this year. Springfield Police Commissioner John Barbieri has said residents helped make 5 arrests in this year’s killings, and there’s a warrant for a sixth.
Most of the homicides have occurred in the overnight or early morning hours in several Springfield neighborhoods. Most recently, a 23-year-old was stabbed to death during a house party on Cambridge Street early Saturday morning.
Business owner David Glantz told 22News that the violence was worse during the 90’s, but he thinks community policing is helping.”I don’t see any effect during the daytime, but after 6 o’clock downtown Springfield is like a ghost town there’s nobody around,” Glantz said.
The Springfield Police Department has launched a new C3 initiative, that they hope encourages businesses and residents to help identify issues and help put an end to crime, but many residents say it’s easier said than done.
That’s why more people are turning to local programs that help troubled youth. Jose Alvarado is an ex-gang member and now a counselor at the Safe and Secure Youth Initiative out of Holyoke. He says that more young men need to realize there are greater opportunities. “That so called glamoured life they put out there. It’s not what you see. You’re giving up your life for something that’s not there,” Alvarado said.
Springfield police will talk about another new initiative called “Partner with Nextdoor” Tuesday morning. It will enable police to communicate with residents via a secure website.