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Springfield Set To Hire Police, Firefighters Thanks To Casino Cash

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WAMC
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Counting on casino cash, the city of Springfield, Massachusetts is planning to hire more cops.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno Thursday announced new police and fire department academies starting early next year. When the police cadets graduate next spring it will bring the number of uniform patrol officers in Springfield to more than 400 for the first time in two decades, according police Commissioner John Barbieri.

" This is a big boost for us in terms of citizen satisfaction and safety and officer safety because it allows us to more people on the street where and when they are needed most."

Now that MGM has received a state license to build the Springfield casino, MGM owes the city $3 million this fiscal year and $3 million next fiscal year, which starts July 1st.  The casino won’t open until 2017.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.