SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — The Springfield Police Department is trying something new to curb gun violence. They’re calling it a “Violence Reduction Plan.”
They’ve created a gun violence task force. Some officers have been re-assigned to focus solely on shooting investigations.
Gun violence in Springfield has increased significantly over the last five years. There were 70 confirmed shots fired from January to March this year. Last year there were 35.
And it’s not just the families of the victims who are affected by this violence.
Deputy Chief Joshua Stuenkel said, “You really have to consider the impact on the community. When these incidents occur, close to schools, and schools go on lockdown, they present a risk to anyone in the area. Recently, we have had schools and businesses go into lockdown when incidents have occurred in their area.”
The department is also trying to keep an effective number of officers on the streets for daily calls, but they say other investigations might be delayed because officers are more focused on shootings.