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Despite Some Problems On Their Records Five Make Sergeant With Springfield Police Dept

      Five police officers in Springfield, Massachusetts have been promoted to the rank of sergeant even though some have checkered pasts. 

          One of the new sergeants was implicated in an off-duty brawl outside a bar. No charges were filed, but an injured man recently filed a $10 million lawsuit against the city. 

           Another was a defendant in a wrongful death judgement against the city.  And a third was once arrested for drunk driving.

            When the list of the candidates for promotion was revealed earlier this year, Police Commissioner John Barbieri said he believed in second chances.

            "If  you are  an officer and you make a mistake eight years ago am I suppose to hold you to a different standard than I hold the community," Barbieri said?

           In a statement announcing the promotions, Barbieri said the new sergeants will be held to the “highest standard, as they should be as supervisors in the Springfield Police Department.”

The record-setting tenure of Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno. The 2011 tornado and its recovery that remade the largest city in Western Massachusetts. The fallout from the deadly COVID outbreak at the Holyoke Soldiers Home. Those are just a few of the thousands and thousands of stories WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill has covered for WAMC in his nearly 17 years with the station.