Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, in response to a claim by Springfield Patrol Officer’s Union President that they “never behaved unprofessionally in front of the CPHB (Community Police Hearing Board)”, and has “not received any formal request to discuss what exactly needs to be resolved” has released redacted copies of emails from members of his CPHB detailing the behavior at a hearing held before the CPHB on March 13, 2018.
The emails reveal that the night of the hearing board members contacted Chief of Staff Denise Jordan, in her role as CPHB liaison, to report that a Union Official “was rude, threatening and very hostile to members of the Board” at the conclusion of a hearing held that date. According to the emails, “members felt threatened and said that [the union official] stood over them in a very threating posture that made them feel unsafe” after the CPHB issued their decision at the hearing.
Mayor Sarno states, “Public safety has always been my number one priority and always will be. My record demonstrates that I have always been supportive of the men and women of our police force. However, I will not tolerate unprofessional behavior. The incident that occurred before our Community Police Hearing Board is unacceptable. These civilians provide needed oversight as part of the checks and balances for public safety. Labor relations Director Mahoney notified the Union the behavior was unacceptable and that an apology was in order, but the Union has refused. This is the reason negotiations were suspended.”
Mayor Sarno adds, “At all times during the negotiations with the Patrol Officers Union, through the City’s Labor Relations Director and his team, the City has negotiated and bargained with an open and fair mind, with a sincere purpose to find a basis of agreement, and to make reasonable efforts to compromise differences. Towards that end, an offer has been put on the table that is more than reasonable. Through our bargaining efforts I have supported increases in the number of police officers and assured police are provided fair salaries as well all the equipment they need to carry out their law enforcement duties. However, I will not stand for strong arm tactics directed towards the volunteers serving on the CPHB. To assure the Union is bargaining in good faith, I need resolution so that the citizens of this community will be treated with the respect they deserve, both at and away from the bargaining table. I will not condone threatening tactics from Union officials either on or off the streets. It’s unfortunate that the Union has misrepresented material facts. I am hopeful that an apology will be forthcoming in the best interest of our City.”