City Councilors Demand Action From Mayor On Police Commission

Springfield City Councilors and the Mayor continue to joust in an on-going battle over the police department.

After Police Commissioner John Barbieri announced his immediate retirement from the police force Thursday, councilors Friday gathered to urge the Mayor to immediately name a Police Commission.

The Councilors contend that the measure is on the books that calls for a strong Police Commission to deal with hiring and discipline.

The city council last year passed the measure, the Mayor vetoed it and then the city council overrode the veto. Since then the Mayor has opted to do nothing about it. Councilors say that a nationwide search needs to be undertaken for a new Top Cop.

City Councilor Tim Ryan contends that the new "chief" needs to deal with the day to day operations of the department and allow a commission to deal with discipline.

The Springfield Department has come under great scrutiny over the last several years over a series of excessive force and misconduct allegations.

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The Mayor meantime told reporters that under a strong mayor form of government, the power is with him to appoint a new commissioner and he intends to do just that.

He also said that the council measure is invalid. Until a new commissioner is named Cheryl Clapprood, a veteran of the department for nearly 40 years will be interim commissioner.

Photo: John Baibak/NewsRadio 560 WHYN

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