You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Murders drop in Springfield, but chief says gun violence still up

The homicide rate in Springfield dropped almost 60 percent from 2015 to last, but Police Chief Steve Moody said that number doesn’t tell the full story of what’s happening on the streets.

A dozen people were murdered in Springfield in 2015, with four of the killings occurring within nine days. In 2016, five people were murdered, a drop of about 58 percent, Moody said, and so far 2017 has seen zero homicides.

But aggravated assaults are up by 25 percent, he said, a number that is directly related to gun violence.

RELATED: As Springfield violence climbs, 2 sides battle different fronts

“There are still people reaching for a handgun to solve a problem,” he said.

More than 180 aggravated assaults were recorded in 2016, according to data from the Springfield Police Division. That’s an increase from 150 in 2015.

Aggravated assault “usually is accompanied by the use of a weapon or by means likely to produce death or great bodily harm,” according to the division.

“What we saw in 2015 was the heroin trafficking provided the funding stream for these individuals to buy the guns,” Moody said.

Multiple people have been shot, he said, but survived. Through the first two months of the year, 21 aggravated assaults have been recorded.

DETAILS: Gun thefts, illegal weapons linked to Springfield violence

At the same time, many changes were made at the beginning of the year in the police division, Moody said, after voters rejected a tax increase and budget cuts from the city went into effect. The police substation on West Johnny Lytle Avenue closed and three civilian employees have recently been laid off.

“We’re beyond cut to the bone, we’re in the marrow now,” he said.

The changes have increased the time it takes for officers to respond to calls, he said, and put more on each officer’s plate. In 2016 officers responded to 55 percent of calls in three minutes or less. In the first two months of the year that number has increased to four minutes.

“Wait time is up on certain calls,” Moody said.

Officers are constantly responding to overdose calls, he said. In the first two months of the year they’ve responded to about 230 overdose calls. In all of 2015, police responded to 300 overdose calls and about 350 in 2016.

Officers will likely be taken off the streets to work in the civilian positions where employees have been laid off.

The police division’s community response team has taken a hit, he said, and now has just one officer to oversee it. That has meant the division can’t offer active shooter training, he said, or other events it has in the past.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Crime

Here’s how much fruit juice children should drink, according to new guidelines
Here’s how much fruit juice children should drink, according to new guidelines

Next time you're grocery shopping for your kids, think twice before adding a carton of fruit juice to your basket. The American Academy of Pediatrics has updated its guidelines on all juices, advising parents to pull back on how much they serve their little ones. » Related: What Atlanta dietitians feed their kids  Previous...
Former administrator testifies in lawsuit against Wright State
Former administrator testifies in lawsuit against Wright State

Former Wright State University administrator Ryan Fendley testified today in his lawsuit against the school seeking $249,000 in back pay and benefits he claims he is owed after his termination amid an ongoing federal investigation. Fendley’s attorney, Theodore Copetas, opened the hearing in the Ohio Court of Claims in Columbus admitting the university...
Beach closed after 25 sharks sighted Sunday
Beach closed after 25 sharks sighted Sunday

Swimmers and surfers were ordered out of the of the water and beach goers warned not to enter it Sunday after 25 sharks, many of them great whites, were spotted close to shore.  The sharks measured 8 to 10 feet and some were swimming within 25 yards of the beach, prompting the closure, officials said.  “If there’s one in the eight-(foot)...
Springfield man with prior felony jailed for possessing guns
Springfield man with prior felony jailed for possessing guns

Springfield police responding to a report of a dog shot, ended up arresting the resident for possessing firearms unlawfully.  Thomas E. Bunch, 46, of North Greenmount Avenue, is now in Clark County Jail on two counts having weapons under disability. He was arrested May 21. Springfield police were called to Bunch's home on a report of someone...
Clark County Common Pleas Court cases
Clark County Common Pleas Court cases

COMMON PLEAS COURT NEW SUITS 17-CV-0281 – Caliber Home Loans, Inc., v. James Hedrick, 831 Bell Oak St., New Carlisle, et al.; complaint in foreclosure for $62,465. 17-CV-0283 – Castle Financial Resources, LLC, v. Michael K. Randolph, 122 Lakeshore Dr., Medway; plaintiff demands judgment of $78,605. 17-CV-0286 — Byrider Finance, LLC...
More Stories