The Springfield City Council will again take up an ordinance proposal to restore a citizen police commission with hiring and firing authority.
City Council President Mike Fenton said he’ll introduce the measure at Monday’s council meeting.
In order to comply with an existing contract with Police Commissioner John Barbieri that grants him hiring and firing powers, the ordinance would take effect after Barbieri’s contract expires in 2019. Fenton said the current community police hearing board, who’s recommendations are strictly advisory, was designed to fail.
“This is about creating a better system. A better system for transparency and for accountability in the department. And we think that this legislation can accomplish it,” said Fenton.
Unlike several past attempts to revive the commission, Fenton said there are enough councilors on board to override a suspected veto. Mayor Domenic Sarno said in a statement that the proposal sends a bad message of “politics and patronage,” and accuses the council of trying to usurp his authority.