Springfield Chief of Police John Cook provided an update on public safety to the Township Committee this week. His statistics indicated success with fighting car burglaries and with issuing motor vehicle summons.
The first notable success he touched on was the red light cameras installed on the intersection of Morris and Maple Aves. Cook said the cameras, set to detect and issue tickets for illegal turns and other motor vehicle violations, had been detecting 40-50 violations per day.
Cook said that thefts from parked cars, an issue that has noted in Patch articles Patch articles, were drastically reduced in 2012. Cook said that reports were down 39 percent from the previous year and attributed the reduction to public outreach.
He characterized the thefts as crimes of opportunity, saying 95 percent of the thefts occurring because people haven’t locked their car doors. Urging people to lock their car doors when parked, Cook said, has curtailed many instances of the crimes.
Editor's Note: the original version of this story incorrectly reported that increased police presence around schools was ending. Cook's stated that police officers would not be outside of schools during school openings and dismissals. That is not to say that the police department was shifting its attention away from the schools. We regret the error.