Rep. Orlando Ramos Offers Plan for Public Safety
Mayor Sarno Has Lost Control of Crime as City Breaks Record for Homicides
Springfield, MA—Massachusetts State Representative and mayoral candidate Orlando Ramos is criticizing Mayor Domenic Sarno for his handling of crime in the city. The recent 22nd homicide of the year has tied the record set in 2013, according to Department of Justice statistics (click here).
Mayor Sarno is shifting blame onto judges for the city’s crime problem, when he has been in charge of the police, responsible for crime prevention, for nearly two decades. Orlando believes that the mayor should take responsibility and do more to address the issue.
“On average, every ten days someone is being killed here in our city,” said Representative Ramos. “The people of Springfield have lost faith in Mayor Sarno. He has been in office for almost two decades, and crime is worse than ever. It’s crystal clear at this point that his ideas are not working. We cannot keep electing the same mayor and expect different results. We need a mayor with new ideas, and a real, proactive public safety plan.”
At the core of Ramos’ public safety platform is “Community Policing.” Ramos says that it is a model that has been proven to work right here in Springfield during the late 90’s and early 2000’s. He also says that he would like to partner with ATF (Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) to help get guns off the streets; and emphasizes the need to focus on building police/community relations, so that residents can feel more comfortable sharing valuable information with law enforcement. Also included in his platform is a focus on mental health.
Representative Ramos’ plan to make Springfield safer includes:
· Hire 50 new police officers in Year One: President Biden’s COPS Program funds the hiring of 100,000 additional police officers who will be recruited, trained, hired, and supervised consistent with the standards in the President’s 2022 Executive Order to advance effective, accountable community policing in order to enhance trust and public safety. Awards provide up to 75% funding of the approved entry-level salaries and fringe benefits of each newly hired and/or rehired full-time sworn career law enforcement officer over a three-year award period.
· Community Policing: Defined generally as law enforcement systems where officers build and maintain active, reinforcing relationships with local stakeholders, including citizens and community leaders. It is a model that has been proven to work right here in Springfield during the late 90’s and early 2000’s. The initiative includes walking and biking patrols.
· Police Substations: Establish police substations in high-crime areas to help deter crime. The substations shall be staffed during peak hours based on crime stats.
· Create a Springfield Gun Court: This court would have a designated judge and assistant district attorney who prosecute all gun related crimes. The creation of this court would move gun related offenses swiftly through the legal process allowing for gun-toting criminals to be found guilty more quickly and off the streets. These courts are modeled after similar courts in Providence, New York City and Philadelphia.
· Partnering with ATF to get guns off the streets: Cities like Baltimore and D.C. have partnered with the ATF to create an effective tip/rewards program. The program has successfully led to hundreds of arrests and illegal guns being taken off the streets.
· Gun Buy-Back: Allocate $200,000 from the city’s general fund to implement the largest gun buy-back program in city history, with the goal of getting 1,000 guns off the streets in year one.
· Impound and confiscate vehicles with illegal guns: Adopt the New York City policy of impounding and selling vehicles with illegal guns found in them and use proceeds to fund gun court, illegal gun tip line or other community/anti-gun initiatives. This will require a home rule petition.
· Improve Police/Community Relations: Create a program similar to the DARE program to bring police officers into the schools in a positive way and help build trust with students.
· “My Springfield” Municipal App: Simplifying reporting process for non-emergencies and improving police response through the proposed “My Springfield” mobile app.
· Invest in economic development: Creating workforce training opportunities for young people in our city and offer attainable and meaningful alternatives for their future. Create a public/private partnership to offer employment opportunities for previously incarcerated individuals.
· Investing in mental health services: Partnering with local organizations to help address mental health. Ensure that the Springfield Police Department works collaboratively with local mental health experts.
For more information on Ramos’ platform, please visit VoteOrlandoRamos.com.
Homicide numbers by year According to https://ma.beyond2020.com/ma_
Prior to Mayor Sarno
Since Mayor Sarno
as of 8/13/23