Springfield police chief: Overall crime down, but Springfield gun crime remains serious
Springfield Police Chief Paul Williams presented a report at Monday night’s City Council meeting, telling city leaders overall crime is down but gun violence remains a serious problem.
Springfield crime last year was down overall by 17 percent, including decreases in violent crimes, property crimes and crimes against society like drug offenses and prostitution.
But Springfield Police Chief Paul Williams said gun violence remains a serious issue. Last year, 229 illegal guns were seized, down from 283 guns seized in 2019, but way up over pandemic lows in 2020 and 2021.
A group of criminals Williams dubbed the “alphabet group” is said to be linked to many gun crimes in the Queen City.
Responding to questions from council members on public safety issues including gun violence, the chief said, “The commandant and I use the word ‘thug’, and I’m just going to use that. It’s a core group of young and old — I mean, there’s some — we’ve arrested some fathers and sons. It’s a core group of people who have no respect for anything in society.”
Williams said that “shots fired” maps of Springfield used by the police department show that gun crimes take place all over the city.