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Facing Controversey Over Disciplining Cops, Springfield Commissioner Plans Review Of Proceedures

City of Springfield

       The police commissioner in Springfield, Massachusetts said he will review how police misconduct complaints are handled in the wake of recent controversy.

      Police Commissioner John Barbieri said he will ask independent experts to review the practices and procedures of the internal investigations unit. 

    His announcement comes as several city councilors, including Council President Mike Fenton, are moving to strip the commissioner of his authority to discipline police officers.

     " These most recent events continue to highlight the failure of the current system we have," Fenton said in a recent interview.

            Barbieri was sharply criticized for not firing a detective who threatened to kill and plant drug evidence on two teenagers.

     A federal judge, citing Springfield Police internal affairs records, said there appeared to be a pattern of routinely dismissing civilian complaints against police officers.

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.