Springfield-based C3 policing getting national recognition - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Springfield-based C3 policing getting national recognition

Posted: Updated:
SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

A state policing technique called C3 based out of Springfield is getting national recognition and is even being featured on CBS' 60 Minutes.

The C3 unit has been focusing their efforts in the North End for three years now, effectively cutting crime by about 60 percent.

And residents are thankful. North End community activists say their neighborhood just a few short years ago was something similar to a war zone, complete with armed gang members riding down the streets.

"If you were here in 2009, we've been living in the neighborhood for 40 some odd years, we needed something to change, we needed something new that could really make a difference," said President of the New North Citizen's Council Jose Claudio.

That's when state police came to neighborhood leaders with the idea of C3 policing, a counter-insurgency technique modified from the battlefields of Iraq.

Troopers arrest people in raids, taking drugs and guns off the streets.

But for them, that's only a piece of it.

"You're not going to arrest your way out of a crime problem, a crime problem is a community problem. The only way to address a community problem is through community commitment," said Deputy Police Chief John Barbieri of the Springfield Police Department.

The state troopers and Springfield police then called on the community to help take back the streets.

"You want change? Well you know what, get up and let's do something," said state police Trooper Luis Rodriguez.  

Now they hold weekly meetings and knock on doors to get to know people and involve themselves with kids and local schools.

"There's so much you can accomplish when you're part of something larger than yourself," said Lt. Michael Domnarski of the Massachusetts State Police.

With the help of a community-wide effort, in just three years, the North End has seen crime drop dramatically. These days, neighbors are calling the troopers on a daily basis to report crime or suspicious activity.

State Rep. Cheryl Coakley Rivera grew up in the North End. She has been watching the evolution of the neighborhood.

"This is about the entire city, this could change the face of the city and I believe that," she said.

State and Springfield police stood on the edge of the riverfront in the North End Monday, where community leaders have launched a rowing program.

"What we provide in this community is an option," said the Riverfront Director Jim Sotiropoulos.

Kids and teenagers vulnerable to gang activity come here to learn to work together.

"We had eight kids from eight different gangs ... they forgot who they were for 15 minutes," said the rowing director Erin Sprong.

Police say so far it's working and the change will only become more positive.

"There's always more work to be done, but you've got to be proud of this," Rodriguez said.

State and Springfield police say that they've also received calls from police departments across the country interested in implementing the C3 technique in their cities.

Copyright 2013 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Young girl hospitalized by 105 mph foul at Yankee Stadium

    Young girl hospitalized by 105 mph foul at Yankee Stadium

    Wednesday, September 20 2017 7:30 PM EDT2017-09-20 23:30:11 GMT
    (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) Baseball fans reacts as a young girl is tended to before she is carried out of the seating area after being hit by a line drive in the fifth inning of a baseball game between the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins.(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) Baseball fans reacts as a young girl is tended to before she is carried out of the seating area after being hit by a line drive in the fifth inning of a baseball game between the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins.

    NEW YORK (AP) — A young girl at Yankee Stadium was injured by a 105 mph foul ball off the bat of Todd Frazier during Wednesday's game against Minnesota, leading some players to call for protective netting to be extended. The Yankees said the girl was taken to a hospital for treatment, and New York manager Joe Girardi said he had been told by team security that she was OK. The game was delayed for about 4 minutes while she was attended to and then carried from the seat...

    More >

    NEW YORK (AP) — A young girl at Yankee Stadium was injured by a 105 mph foul ball off the bat of Todd Frazier during Wednesday's game against Minnesota, leading some players to call for protective netting to be extended. The Yankees said the girl was taken to a hospital for treatment, and New York manager Joe Girardi said he had been told by team security that she was OK. The game was delayed for about 4 minutes while she was attended to and then carried from the seat...

    More >
  • ECSU student dies of natural causes

    ECSU student dies of natural causes

    Wednesday, September 20 2017 3:47 PM EDT2017-09-20 19:47:32 GMT

    Eastern Connecticut State University student was found dead in his dormitory room early on Wednesday morning. 

    More >

    Eastern Connecticut State University student was found dead in his dormitory room early on Wednesday morning. 

    More >
  • Doctors weigh in on flu shot debate

    Doctors weigh in on flu shot debate

    Wednesday, September 20 2017 5:36 PM EDT2017-09-20 21:36:44 GMT
    Doctors are weighing in on whether or not to get a flu shot (WFSB)Doctors are weighing in on whether or not to get a flu shot (WFSB)

    To get a flu shot or not to get a flu shot...that is the question.

    More >

    To get a flu shot or not to get a flu shot...that is the question.

    More >