Mayor Domenic J. Sarno joined with Sheriff Nick Cocchi, Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood and Executive Director of Parks, Buildings, and Recreation Management Patrick Sullivan to announce the continued creative partnership to enhance our public safety aspects in our beloved Forest Park.
Mayor Sarno stated, “Working with Sheriff Nick Cocchi, the city will continue with this unique and innovative creative partnership with the Hampden County Sheriff’s Office with dedicated Forest Park patrols under the auspices of Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood. We received rave reviews from the public. Anticipated to start Sunday, April 4, 2021 and will continue until Tuesday, November 30, 2021, Deputy Sheriffs will patrol Forest Park in Hampden County Sheriff’s Department (HCSD) marked cruisers. Shift times are 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, and 2:00 pm to 10:00 pm, with two Deputy Sheriffs per shift. The HCSD deputies will report to Commissioner Clapprood.”
“I cannot thank Sheriff Cocchi enough for continuing this unique partnership. We are so appreciative of the continued support of Sheriff Cocchi’s community based approach.” Mayor Sarno added, “I’d also like to extend my sincere thanks to labor union presidents Officer Joe Gentile and Captain Brian Keenan for their cooperative efforts in this joint venture. We have a beautiful overall park system, especially with our crown jewel, the Olmsted-designed Forest Park and we want to keep it that way, enjoyable to all families, who come from near and far.”
Hampden County Sheriff Nick Cocchi said that over the past two years of the partnership, his deputies have developed a great relationship with the regulars in the park, and in turn, the people in the Forest Park neighborhood.
“From being waved down by groups of kids to visiting Nino’s Pizzeria on Dickinson Street for a slice, our team loves engaging with the thousands of people who live near and visit Forest Park each year. It is a great place to relax and play, and we are honored to be entrusted to help maintain that,” Sheriff Cocchi said. “And while most everyone who stops by is respectful of the rules and each other, we will do what’s necessary when the exception arises. Working alongside the public and our partners in the Springfield Police Department, we know it’s going to be another great season in the park.”
Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood stated, “During these extraordinary times having partnerships in law enforcement is more important than ever. Last summer the services Sheriff Cocchi and his team provided in Forest Park worked out very well for everyone and we will continue those this year. Forest Park has always been a safe environment and this will help us maintain a high visibility approach for our residents and visitors.”
“The Springfield Parks Department is thrilled to be partnering with the Springfield Police Department and the Hampden County Sherriff’s Department. The enforcement of the parks rules and regulations ensure everyone visiting the parks has the opportunity to enjoy the beauty and serenity of the park system. Over the past five year, the Springfield Parks have received over $18 million dollar investment and the park patrols will be a welcome addition to secure the beauty of our parks and be a resource to our visitors,” said Patrick Sullivan, Executive Director of Parks, Buildings & Recreation Management.