Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Acting Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood announced a series of initiatives to enhance community-police relations today. They were joined by City Solicitor Ed Pikula and City Councilor Michael Fenton.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno stated, “I’m very appreciative of Acting Commissioner Clapprood’s continued proactive efforts to move on her initiatives and incorporate PERF recommendations too. I’m thankful that we have worked together with our City Council, especially City Councilors Tim Ryan and Mike Fenton to codify these changes into an ordinance. This will only continue to build on mutual trust and respect for our residents and our Police Department.”
The enhancements follow recommendations of the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) and coincide with initiatives presented by Acting Commissioner Clapprood. They include:
- A single Police Commissioner will be appointed by the Mayor
- The Civilian Review Board will be expanded to nine members
- The Civilian Review Board is granted subpoena powers in this ordinance
Acting Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood stated, “We have been pushing to expand the Civilian Review Board for some time now and PERF’s recommendation to give the Board more oversight just makes sense. I commend Mayor Sarno along with members of the City Council and Law Department who have worked so diligently to get this ordinance prepared and once enacted will allow me to continue moving this department forward.”
“It’s time to break the gridlock. The conflict between our ordinances and the actual day-to-day operations of the SPD has become a serious liability to the City. This change gives the Civilian Review Board the tools it needs to operate effectively. I join this effort to give the Board expanded formal powers and authority including the long sought after subpoena power,” said City Councilor Michael Fenton.
City Councilor Tim Ryan stated, "I regret that I am unable to attend the announcement but I am busy on a previously scheduled matter. I have reviewed the PERF Executive Summary and the proposed legislation and am in strong support of this plan. The city will get a strong hearing board with a professional alignment and clear duties. This is a very good step forward. Additionally that it is important that we come together to support Commissioner Clapprood in her new role. This result is a compromise, but it is a compromise that serves the best interests of the residents of Springfield, and for these reasons I support this proposal.”
The ordinance is attached.