Tuesday, June 19, 2018
The Springfield Community Police Hearing Board (CPHB) today issued its Annual Report covering the periods for 2017. The report provides an overview of the complaints involving police misconduct that have been reviewed by the Board in accordance with Mayor Sarno’s Executive Order which created the Board for the calendar year 2017.
The data has been arranged in tables which reveal trends in regard to the number, type, and resolution of complaints against Springfield Police Department personnel. The data is also broken down according to whether the complaint was initiated by a citizen or by a member of the Springfield Police Department.
Mayor Sarno stated, “The CPHB members include a broad cross section of the community that reviews every complaint of police misconduct filed by a citizen with the police department. They work very hard and put in many hours. In past reports they have recommended the implementation of body cameras and dash board cameras. I am glad their recommendation is bearing fruit. They have my respect and admiration for providing civilian oversight as to all allegations of police misconduct.”
To place the report data in perspective, the following Tables provide an indication of the level and frequency of involvement that the police officers have with the public in Springfield as to the number of calls for service and arrests over the past five years:
Calls for Service
Persons Arrested 2013 – 2017
The above statistics show that the members of the Springfield Police Department had a total of 280,753 interactions with members of the public during 2017. According to the available data, the number of interactions or total “Calls for Service” has been on an upward trend since 2013. However, in comparison, the number of arrests has not seen as significant of an increase.
A total of 81 Complaints were filed by citizens and reviewed by the CPHB during 2017. The report includes appendices with all public data for all complaints. By reviewing the data, information on each complaint and its outcome can be reviewed. Most of these complaints involved charges involving allegations of discourtesy. However, 36 charges involving use of force were reviewed. A total of 11 charges were sustained.
City Solicitor Ed Pikula stated, “In addition to a review of each complaint and each investigation, the CPHB holds hearings in their capacity as the Police Commissioner’s Hearing Officer on all civilian complaints where a hearing is needed. It is my hope that the City will continue to add resources to assist the CPHB in their work in providing transparency and accountability on these matters.”
In addition, a summary of all police excessive force litigation between 2006 and 2017 is provided. The table indicates that the City has been involved in 52 lawsuits alleging a deprivation of civil rights through that time. 47 of those cases have been disposed of by settlement or judgment. As to those lawsuits that are resolved, 20 resulted in judgments in favor of the City or its officers and 2 resulted in judgments for plaintiffs. 25 cases were settled.
A copy of the existing Executive Order creating the Community Police Hearing Board established by Mayor Sarno is included with the report.
The report also includes various observations and recommendations made by the CPHB.
The CPHB was created by an Executive Order of Mayor Sarno in February 2010 and has evolved over the years. The current chair of the CPHB is Attorney Ernesto Castillo. Other current members of the CPHB include: Robert C. Jackson, Albert P. Tranghese, Reverend Gail Hill, Paul Phaneuf, Linda Caron and Dr. Gary Berte.