New Springfield City Council President Renews Call For Change At The Police Department

Jan 7, 2019

The new city council president in Springfield, Massachusetts, says he'll continue to push for change at the police department.

In recent months, one Springfield police officer has been charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and two others with unreasonable force.

The department's narcotics unit is also under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department to see if a pattern of excessive force exists.

New City Council President Justin Hurst says change is needed. He says he'll fight for a civilian police commission in hopes of fixing a department that is clearly broken.

"Rogue police officers are acting with impunity while your average taxpayer bears the brunt of their actions — and last year it was to the tune of over $1 million in victim settlements," Hurst said.

Hurst made the remarks after being sworn at the City Council chamber.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno was present, but declined to comment on Hurst's critique.

Sarno has pushed back against civilian oversight of the department, which would strip power from the police commissioner.