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Statement from Chief Steven M. Sargent on the Recent Violence

For Immediate Release: 8/3/2020 6:05 pm

This summer, we have seen an increase in major crimes and shootings. Year to date, there have been 17 non-fatal shooting incidents involving 18 victims. This is a 31% increase in incidents and a 29% increase in victims compared to the 3 year average of 13 incidents and 14 victims at this point in the calendar year. While these statistics are alarming, I want to assure the Worcester community that the police department is committed to providing the resources needed to address recent shootings. We are actively working with our partners to proactively address the violence that is occurring.

Last week, the City Manager and his administration met with our department, the department of public health along with our Youth Violence Prevention Initiative partners to address concerns over the recent surge in violence. Collaboratively, we are working together to develop a comprehensive plan to reduce violence both long-term and short-term.

This week, the City Manager will meet with members of our command staff to discuss policing strategies and crime prevention efforts.

Officials are directing patrols to crime hot spots and deploying specialized units to these areas where we are seeing an uptick in activity.  We continue to work with our law enforcement partners to identifying active violent offenders.

Investigators have made arrests and sought arrest warrants in connection with the shooting incidents during this wave of violence. We have charged 26 people with unlawful carrying of firearms so far this year. For comparison, our officers made 37 similar arrests all of last year. The Worcester Police Latent Print Unit has processed 35 firearms recovered in crimes this year.

We are proactively patrolling the neighborhoods and are committed to maintaining safety and order in our community

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