Posted on Wednesday, January 14 2009 by Heather Brandon
Violent crime is down in Springfield, but Police Commissioner William Fitchet sure sounds kind of glum about it. Maybe he just doesn’t want to overplay good news. Listen to his comments on WHYN here, as well as Mayor Domenic Sarno’s related comments here.
The Republican has an initial report up, by Peter Goonan, following today’s press conference in City Hall. From the article:
Violent crime—murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault—was down 10 percent in 2008, compared to 2007, he said. That includes a 30 percent decline in murder, a 23 percent decline in robbery, and a 7 percent decline in aggravated assault. Rape was the sole major category showing an increase. Rapes increased from 111 in 2007 to 156 in 2008.
Fitchet and Hampden County District Attorney William A. Bennett said rape referrals to the district attorney’s office are being newly counted in the police crime statistics, a key component in the spike.
Fitchet is changing the city’s three-division policing arrangement to a nine-sector plan as of Sunday, February 1. The previous commissioner, Ed Flynn, instituted the three-sector plan, which Fitchet today said he saw as not neighborhood-oriented enough. He hopes the new arrangement will enable a renewed, closer cooperation between the police department and the local beat management teams.