Incoming city council president outlining priorities for Springfield

Police-community relations, holding MGM accountable will be important for Orlando Ramos

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – There is a new leader in Springfield city government. On Monday at 10:00 A.M., Ward 8 City Councilor Orlando Ramos will be sworn-in as the council’s new president.

Formerly the vice president of the council, Ramos will be only the second Latino city council president. He was elected last week by a vote of the council.

Ramos told 22News that his priority will be public safety. He said that he wants to restore trust between the police department and residents through better communication.

He told 22News that he supports the use of police body cameras, after the city paid out $1.4 million to Charles Wilhite for a wrongful murder conviction.

“Other communities are doing it. They’ve found ways to fund those cameras and the storage of the data. We can’t afford not to do this, because we spend so much money on settling cases of alleged police misconduct, that in the long run, this is going to be a cost-saving measure to our taxpayers,” Ramos said.

The council also recently voted to override Mayor Domenic Sarno’s veto and abolish the office of police commissioner in 2019.

Economically, Ramos said they will keep holding MGM accountable to their host agreement, and make sure they hire locally.