Thursday, November 16, 2017
Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno announced today that Attorney Ernesto Castillo will be taking over as Chair of the Community Police Hearing Board (CPHB). Castillo replaces Attorney Hector Zavala who is leaving as a result of his appointment as Assistant Clerk Magistrate in Springfield District Court. Castillo graduated from Syracuse University with a B.S. in Political Science and the University of Connecticut School of Law for his J.D., and has been practicing law since 2009. Castillo is employed as Senior Counsel at The Hartford insurance company in Connecticut. Attorney Castillo is experienced in Complex Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution, involving Construction, Commercial Property, and Business insurance claims. He is married and lives with his family in Springfield.
“I am happy to have gained a well-recognized Attorney to help provide civilian oversight of police misconduct complaints. His professional skills will help further our efforts in the Police Department. I want to congratulate Attorney Hector Zavala on his appointment as Springfield District Court Assistant Magistrate. I thank him for his service to the city’s residents in assuring that the Police Department provides our citizens with the excellent public service through the Community Police Hearing Board,” Mayor Sarno stated.
The Mayor also released the CPHB Annual Report for the year 2016. The report contains a review of the work carried out by the CPHB during 2016 to advance its mission under the Executive Order of the Mayor. The current report includes spreadsheets for the data generated by the work of the CPHB during 2016. The spreadsheets are summarized in tables provided in the report. In addition, the report provides statistics with regard to lawsuits involving allegations of police misconduct. As a result of the Mayor’s amendments in 2016, and with the assistance of the Police Department’s Crime Analysis Unit, in gathering and reporting statistics on behalf of the CPHB, throughout 2016 Quarterly reports are posted on the city’s website providing for improved reporting and greater transparency and more public access to information about police misconduct complaints in Springfield.
The report also contains observations and recommendations by the CPHB as to potential changes which may be able to be implemented. The Mayor also announced that he is planning to modify the Executive Order under which the CPHB operates under in order to include the provision of recommendations, not only as to whether just cause exists to impose discipline, but where just cause is found, that a recommendation as to the nature of the discipline be included with the recommendation to the Police Commissioner.
Mayor Sarno stated, “I have asked the Law Department to draft a modification to the Executive Order for my signature to implement the recommendation suggested by the CPHB that recommendations be based on disciplinary guidelines, similar to what it used in court, developed by a submission by the Labor Relations Department on a case by case basis. This will allow for greater civilian input to the process and provide assurance of consistency with past discipline, with a range of appropriate discipline being recommended in line with the Police Department’s progressive discipline policies.”
To access the full 2016 Annual Report click below: