Springfield enhancing police-community relations

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield is taking steps to enhance police-community relations.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and Acting Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood announced the new initiatives include:

  • A single Police Commissioner will be appointed by the Mayor
  • The Civilian Review Board will be expanded to nine members
  • The Civilian Review Board is granted subpoena powers in this ordinance

“I’m very appreciative of Acting Commissioner Clapprood’s continued proactive efforts to move on her initiatives and incorporate PERF recommendations too,” Sarno said. “I’m thankful that we have worked together with our City Council, especially City Councilors Tim Ryan and Mike Fenton to codify these changes into an ordinance. This will only continue to build on mutual trust and respect for our residents and our Police Department.”

The initiatives follow recommendations by the Police Executive Research Forum including giving the Civilian Review Board subpoena powers and expanding the board to nine members.

Acting Police Commissioner Clapprood told 22news, these initiatives are important now, especially after recent disciplinary cases in the department.

“With a lot of these disciplinary cases coming up, and transparency and people wondering…is the department transparent or not?” asked Clapprood. “Once they get to know us they know we’re transparent and honest with them so that’s why that program works.”

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno said he plans to further increase transparency with the public once the Springfield Police Department begins wearing body cameras.

“I think that’s going to be extremely important,” Sarno told 22News. “Then you just go to the tape, what occurred, what did not occur, and then you can get to the bottom of the story.”

Sarno said he plans to have body cameras implemented by the end of the year.

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