FBI data shows decline in Springfield crime - WFSB 3 Connecticut

FBI data shows decline in Springfield crime

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

New statistics from the FBI show Springfield had its second-lowest violent crime rate in the past 28 years.

According to the FBI, Springfield was once the 38th most violent city in the country. Now that number has dropped down to 77.

"I knew it. I've been saying it all along for a year," said Springfield Police Sgt. John Delaney.

Springfield police weren't surprised this week when the FBI released good news in regards to the city's violent crime rates.

According to the Uniform Crime Report program of the FBI, there were just more than 1,600 violent offenses in the city in 2012, the lowest it has been since 1985 and just below the 2011 rate of 1,582 violent crimes.

"Crime has dipped a lot in the last two years, which is good news. People look at news in Springfield, and they look at the bad news, and they think Springfield is totally bad everywhere," Delaney said.

According to police, crimes like breaking and entering, assaults and car thefts and break-ins have all been decreasing over the past two years.

Delaney says it's been a community effort to make the crime drop, and it can't all be done by police.

"What I see is the cooperation from the citizens more so than ever before since I've been a police officer," he said.

Twenty-two new officers just graduated from the police academy last month, allowing the department to put more boots on the ground with programs like the BADGE unit, small groups of officers concentrated in one neighborhood.

Residents like Moses Melendez say they see that police presence, but still want to see progress made.

"The only way I feel safer is because you see a lot more cops, you see them on the bikes and you see them walking around a lot,"Melendez said.

Delaney says to keep making strides, they'll continue having weekly meetings analyzing data and continue to tackle problem neighborhoods.

"Things are looking up for Springfield, and as a police officer here who fights crime all the time, I'm glad to hear news like this," Delaney said.

Springfield police are also hoping to get another 30 officers from the academy early next year.

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