Thursday, June 14, 2018
The Springfield Community Police Hearing Board (CPHB) participated in a training session on Tuesday with Brian Corr, President of the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE). NACOLE is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) association of law enforcement oversight agencies and practitioners that works to enhance accountability and transparency in policing and build community trust through civilian oversight. Membership is composed of oversight practitioners, law enforcement, elected officials, journalists, academics, students, community members, and others.
Mr. Corr, in addition to being the President of NACOLE, is employed by the City of Cambridge, Massachusetts as Executive Director of the City of Cambridge Police Review & Advisory Board as well as the Cambridge Peace Commission. He has been President of NACOLE since 2016, a member of the Board of Directors of NACOLE since 2012, and was formerly a Massachusetts Statewide Organizer for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
His presentation to the CPHB focused on “Enhancing Community Trust” and discussion comparing Springfield to the model of oversight utilized in Cambridge. He discussed the history and evolution of police oversight by civilians in American and in particular, the New England region. He included the theories as well as the “nuts and bolts” of the practice and procedure of policing and civilian oversight.
President Corr stated that he appreciated the opportunity to provide training to the CPHB and its staff and to share information about his work. He added, “I was impressed by the seriousness and commitment of the board members, and NACOLE looks forward to working to support the CPHB in its important work. It was great to learn more about how Springfield has created a collaborative model of civilian oversight where community members with training and guidance review police complaints and, when appropriate, recommend discipline. Their work is an essential part of promoting policing that is increasingly responsive to community needs.”
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno stated that he had met Mr. Corr earlier this year during a conference here in Springfield, and connected him with his Chief of Staff and CPHB liaison Denise Jordan to facilitate a meeting with our CPHB. He added, “It was good for the CPHB to hear from an expert and a colleague in this field. The CPHB has been providing civilian oversight under their executive order since 2010, and the process has evolved. Training sessions from NACOLE will help the CPHB enhance fair and professional law enforcement that is responsive to community needs.”
The CPHB members include a broad cross section of the community that reviews every complaint of police misconduct filed by a citizen with the police department.
City Solicitor Ed Pikula stated, “NACOLE organizes training conferences and seminars, Provides technical assistance and support, encourages networking, communication, and sharing information and best practices and offers a professional credential for oversight practitioners. The CPHB’s participation will help us stay up to date on best practices through NACOLE’s ability to provide nationwide information and act as a resource clearinghouse about policing and oversight”.
The CPHB was created by an Executive Order of Mayor Sarno in February 2010 and has evolved over the years. The current chair of the CPHB is Attorney Ernesto Castillo. Other current members of the CPHB include: Robert C. Jackson, Albert P. Tranghese, Reverend Gail Hill, Paul Phaneuf, Linda Caron and Dr. Gary Berte.