SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Springfield Police Department Ordinance Unit issued nearly 13,000 violations throughout the city in 2016, totaling more than $342,000 in fines.
Springfield Police Sgt. John Delaney told 22News the Ordinance Unit is made up of nine officers who deal with high-crime areas in particular. He said the unit talks to residents about neighborhood issues in efforts to clean up the city.
“We’re here today handling an issue where there was an illegal rooming house at the property behind me. We’re calling landlords to task. The guys in the Ordinance Unit are busy 24 hours a day 7 days a week, and when they’re out here, they’re working,” Delaney told 22News.
The record 12,943 violations dealt with quality-of-life issues including city ordinance, noise, and motor vehicle violations as well as things like graffiti and trash in yards. The same officers also enforce traffic violations, conduct escorts during funerals, make arrests, and take part in planning events to improve community-police relations.
The number of violations issued in 2016 is double that of 2013, which Sgt. Delaney credits to tracking crime trends, and Code Enforcement sweeps.
“We gain access, try to find out if people are safe; It’s preventative. This way you don’t run into situations you see in other cities or towns that are having apartment blocks burning down and people dying inside,” says Deputy Director of Code Enforcement David Cotter.
Violation fines depends on the violation. Sgt. Delaney told 22News most fines range from $50 to $150.