As More Cops Face Criminal Charges, Mayor Reaffirms Support For Police Commissioner

May 28, 2018

Springfield Police Commissioner John Barbieri is seen here with Mayor Domenic Sarno after the mayor announced he was appointing Barbieri, then a deputy chief, to lead the police department.
Credit WAMC

After four police officers in Springfield, Massachusetts were recently charged with crimes, the mayor is defending the police commissioner.  

Mayor Domenic Sarno, who appointed John Barbieri as Springfield Police Commissioner four years ago, said he still fully supports Barbieri.

" Commissioner Barbieri has done a tremendous job," Sarno said. "He is a change agent, a very progressive leader."

A spokesperson for the police department pointed out that the four officers were charged as a result of investigations by Springfield police, and no one received “special treatment.”

One of the officers is accused of child rape.

City Councilor Justin Hurst, who is chairman of the council's Public Safety Committee, called for Barbieri to be demoted.

Hurst, who has been critical of Barberi in the past, said the news about the four police officers facing criminal charges has further eroded public confidence in the Springfield Police Department.

The U.S. Justice Department is conducting an investigation into whether members of the police department's narcotics unit regularly committed civil rights violations.