SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – 22News reported on Friday that Bishop Talbert Swan’s position as a chaplain with the Springfield Police Department was not being renewed.
Bishop Talbert Swan says in his 10 years there has never been a renewal process and that this action was in response to his criticisms of the department.
Police spokesman Ryan Walsh told 22News chaplains were asked to re-apply this year due to new interest in the program and that Bishop Swan hasn’t attended any meetings or participated in a program in three years.
Swan said there was an agreement between him and the lead chaplain excusing him from meetings.
That’s because they were held at the same time as the general membership meetings for the NAACP.
“It’s very disingenuous for them to use that as a rationale,” Bishop Swan told 22News. “We know the real excuse is that they’re upset with my unequivocal calls for police reform.”
The Bishop is calling for police reform following the release of the damaging report on the narcotics task force. One of his demands is removing police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood.
It’s also important to note that Springfield Police also removed two other chaplains from the volunteer role.