In the News

Letter to the Editor - Boston Globe Article 9.2.18

September 2, 2018

The Boston Globe
Letters to the Editor
1 Exchange Pl, Ste 201
Boston, MA 02109-2132

To The Editor:

The Boston Globe article that appeared Sunday, September 2, 2018 presents a number of misrepresentations to compare Springfield to Ferguson, MO, Baltimore, MD (343 murders in 2017),  and Chicago, IL (650 murders in 2017). These residents and Police Departments unfortunately have had to deal with an upheaval of violence, riots and destruction – I pray for better days ahead for all these cities. But, to compare Springfield to these situations is grossly unfair and disingenuous. We’ve had no such “out of control events” occur here in Springfield. Police Commissioner John Barbieri, I and our diverse citizen Community Police Hearing Board (CPHB) have worked hard to build mutual respect and trust between our Police Department and all our Springfield community members. From our nationally recognized C-3 community policing initiative, to moving to body-worn cameras, to the Ethical Policing is Courageous (E.P.I.C.) training in civil rights and early recognition of problematic behavior, to proactive youth development, school and economic development/job creation programs, we have reduced overall crime by 45% in the past five years. Now, with that said, where there has been question and/or any proven negative activities perpetuated by an officer of our Springfield Police Department, Commissioner Barbieri, I and the CPHB have been very aggressive to legally eradicate these actions/behaviors all the way up to firings. The vast majority of our diverse (we have the most diverse police department in the state) men and women in blue, serve bravely, with honor and integrity. For those few that do not live up to this standard, they will and have been dealt with. We have cooperated fully with all federal, state and local authorities with regards to any investigations and will continue to do so. Like in any profession, there are those whose actions go astray. In the meantime, my administration will remain ever diligent to enhance and build on a culture of mutual respect and trust between our Springfield community and Police Department.


Domenic J. Sarno
Mayor, City of Springfield                                            

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