Springfield police will be stepping up their patrols in the city as part of an innovative downtown deployment strategy.
"Having a police presence down there gives our visitors and our business community down there a sense of security," said Springfield Police Commissioner William Fitchet.
The added coverage will cost about $25,000 each month, which will be funded by the Springfield Parking Authority.
"I think perception has a lot to do with what people's concept is of the downtown area, it's basically a safe area in the city of Springfield," said Fitchet. "The more people that come down, the safer it really is."
The objectives of the deployed officers will be both to have a high police visibility in the downtown area and to suppress crime through strict enforcement.
"About a year ago it was very obvious that we had to do something about our downtown, and I think what you are seeing unfold over the last 12 months is a comprehensive strategy as to what to do about it," said Springfield Chief Development Officer Kevin Kennedy.
"This sends a good message to our business community and even our residents to and to the surrounding communities," said Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno.
The deployments will vary based on need.
"It's going to be a significant deployment," said Fitchet. "It will vary week to week depending on the venues and the type of entertainment that might be taking place."
Fitchet says that the department will have money freed up as a result of this deployment, which will be utilized to patrol other neighborhoods in the city.
The new deployments will consist of the following:
HIGH VISIBILTY DEPLOYMENTS:
Walking Posts: The walking will be deployed on a daily basis during daytime and evening hours based upon the highest volume of activity.
Piaggio/Bicycle Post (daytime and evening): The use of bicycles and Piaggios for patrol has proven to be an effective bridge deployment strategy between walking patrols and cruiser patrols. Deployment will vary from times of the day and evening based upon the highest volume of activity.
Entertainment District Walking Post: This post is to disrupt criminal activity in the Entertainment District when there is the highest number of bar patrons and the highest incidence of crime. Currently, this funding will allow the department to deploy one additional detail on either Friday or Saturday evenings.
HIGH ENFORCEMENT DEPLOYMENTS:
Data-Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS): DDACTS is a law enforcement operational model that integrates location-based crime and traffic crash data to determine the most effective methods for deploying law enforcement and other resources.
Anti-Prostitution Detail: This is an enforcement detail designed to disrupt prostitution and the associated criminal activity through undercover investigations and arrests.
Liquor License Compliance Enforcement Detail: This is an enforcement detail designed to enforce the liquor laws and city ordinances targeting the bars and restaurants.
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