September 30,2015 Springfield, Mass. The over all crime rate continues to decline in Springfield and perhaps that is because the Police Department has taken a unique approach.
According to Masslive Springfield Police have just completed another “Violence Awareness Walk” with other community leaders.
“We’re not an occupying army. We’re a public service agency that serves the public,” Police Commissioner John Barbieri said Wednesday, shortly before joining city councilors Bud Williams and Melvin A. Edwards, Springfield Fire Commissioner Joseph A. Conant, and Pastor Steven R. Williams Sr., president of the J.C. Williams Community Center/Revival Time Evangelistic Center, for a walk through the Six Corners neighborhood.
Showing solidarity with citizens is the purpose, giving citizens a chance to meet and talk to officials in an unofficial way is the goal.
It allows Citizens a chance to meet with their public officials on a one to one basis and discuss problems in the neighborhood and make personal contacts with them.
“Arrest is a small portion of what we do,” Barbieri said. “Most of what we do is calls for service,”
City Councilman Williams, a former probation officer, said “It helps build community relations,” he said. “This is positive. We’re trying to be positive.”
“It’s a difficult time,” the police commissioner said. “Crime is so complex.”
But one thing that’s beyond dispute is the role the public plays in helping police.
“The community, they are our eyes and ears,” Barbieri said.