Mayor Sarno pledging “full frontal attack” on street gangs

Mayor says he's authorizing police chief, chief financial officer to "do whatever needs to be done"

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno says he is authorizing the city’s police commissioner and chief financial officer to “do whatever needs to be done” to reduce street gang violence in the city.

The mayor released a statement to 22News Thursday morning, in which he says he is authorizing a “full frontal attack on street gangs.”

The announcement comes after multiple violent incidents in the past several days. Two people were killed in separate shootings in the city over the weekend. In one of those shootings, a second victim was seriously injured and a third suffered a minor wound. Violence continued into the early portion of the work week, with a 21 year-old man being wounded in a shooting on Burr Street Tuesday night.

“Even though overall crime is down 19% under the leadership of Springfield Police Commissioner John Barbieri, a continued cancer to urban America is street gang violence,” Sarno said. “I have authorized Commissioner Barbieri and CAFO TJ Plante to do whatever needs to be done to quell and eradicate this uptick in gang hot spot areas ASAP. Included in this continued cooperation and use of our State Police, ATF, DEA, and FBI task forces, working hand in hand with our SPD. As always, we deeply appreciate and need our public’s support and cooperation.”

Sarno added that he is continuing to push for bail reforms being advanced by Rep. Angelo Puppolo (D-Springfield) and District Attorney Anthony Gulluni, which the mayor says will keep violent repeat offenders off the streets.

“As you will find, with arrests made or to be made, there are repeat violent offenders, who, are again let go by our judicial system,” Sarno said.

There have been seven homicides so far in 2017 in the city of Springfield. There were 12 homicides in the city last year, and 18 in 2015.

Recent crime in Springfield