New contract for Springfield police union

Springfield-police-contract
Springfield-police-contract

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)- The Springfield police union has a new contract, after working a year without one and going through a state arbitrator.

The unanimous approval Monday night from the Springfield City Council means unionized police officers will receive a 2% annual raise.

The final contract proposal also raises the possibility of installing cameras inside police cruisers once a joint committee is formed.

One contentious issue remains unresolved, however.  That is the matter of whether to bring back a civilian Police Commission that was abolished in 2005.

Since 2010, there has been a mayor-appointed citizens’ board that hears complaints and meets with Police Commissioner William Fitchet, but the Community Police Hearing Board does not have any decision-making power when it comes to personnel matters.

The police union supports reinstating a Police Commission that can hire and fire employees, while some councilors are opposed.

The City Council could vote to reinstate the Police Commission at their next meeting on March 24.

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