Springfield’s public safety committee examines process for police promotions

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Some Springfield residents are questioning the process for promoting police officers.

Police Officers with discipline records are eligible for promotion. Police spokesman Ryan Walsh said any officer who chooses to take the civil service exam and passes, makes the state eligibility list.

Springfield’s public safety committee examined the process for police promotions Tuesday night.

Commissioner John Barbieri explained that, with three years on the force, and passing the civil service exam, any officer will advance to the state’s eligible list, and the city can’t change that. Even candidates with “severe” disciplinary records.

Residents can see benefits to changing the promotion process.

“I think that would help out the police force not only weed out the bad ones from the good, but help out the community as well. I believe right now we don’t have the best relationship with the police force,” said Chris Joel of Springfield.

The City Council tried to create a commission to handle promotions last year, but it failed.

Springfield City Councilor Adam Gomez told 22News, “What is a fact, is that the Commissioner is the one that makes decisions when it comes to hiring and firing and promotions.”

Commissioner Barbieri said the department has had an unprecedented number of vacancies in recent years. He said discipline records are considered, but candidates must be chosen from the eligibility list, or the positions remain open.

Commissioner Barbieri said he would like to see assessments through simulations, become part of the consideration for promotion.

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