Incoming Springfield Police Commissioner outlines plans

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Changes could be coming soon to the Springfield Police Department. After a series of weekend shootings that sent five people to the hospital, John Barbieri outlined his strategy to stop the violence.

About 100 Springfield residents came to hear Future Springfield Police Commissioner John Barbieri’s plan to change the department and the city for the better.

His five-point strategy plan includes:

  1. Move more officers to the patrol unit. Right now it’s 49:51 ratio, patrol:detective units. He wants it to be 70:30.
  2. Improve response times, use a real-time crime analysis.
  3. Clearly define responsibility of line supervisors.
  4. Improve community relations.
  5. Internal analysis of emergency responses, develop a process for public feedback.

Bobby Hartsfield of Springfield said, “The number one thing is that police officers driving through the neighborhood get to know the neighbors. Spend some time in the neighborhood. Stop in it and talk to the neighbors.”

“The police cannot do it alone. The citizens have to be involved, and they have to take a lot of responsibility, and also, if you hear something, say something,” Terry Habel said

Barbieri also answered questions about the weekend shootings, involving gang members, that wounded five people. One of the shootings happened in the parking lot of Baystate Medical Center.

Barbieri and Mayor Domenic Sarno agreed, police and business owners split the responsibility of keeping people safe in downtown.

“To stop the vicious cycle of poverty and public safety issues in urban America, one is education. We have to continue to educate our public,” said Mayor Sarno.

Barbieri will take over in June when current Commissioner William Fitchet retires.

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