North End neighborhood voices ideas for police commissioner - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

North End neighborhood voices ideas for police commissioner

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Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno is hiring a new police commissioner any day now as current Commissioner William Fitchet is retiring in June.

New North Citizens' Council CEO Jose Claudio tells CBS 3 what qualities are necessary in a new commissioner to continue keeping the North End of Springfield safe.

The neighborhood has used the Safe Neighborhood Watch to reduce crime over the years with help from the Springfield Police Department. Claudio wants nothing more than for the next commissioner to step up and continue this initiative.

"You have to have the right police officers working in the neighborhood that really look like us and talk like us," Claudio said. 

This is in order to continue the success of the initiative, he says, in which residents and business owners work with the city and state police to combat crime.

Over the past six years it has made the North End a safer place.

They intend to keep it that way, Claudio says.

They're asking Sarno to hire someone to fill the commissioner's seat who has come up in the ranks, someone not only the neighborhood can trust but that the other officers can trust as well.

"How do other people feel working with that commissioner? All the departments? All the law enforcement? How do they feel comfortable with that person?" Claudio asked. 

Sarno will be interviewing the three deputy chiefs, Robert McFarlin, William Cochrane and John Barbieri, all up for the position this month, in closed sessions.

"I really believe that he needs to have the best interest of the city in his heart, especially in this diverse city, that people can really work with that person," Claudio said. 

Claudio trusts Sarno and asks he makes a decision based on what's best for Springfield.

"Do right by the city. He always has done what's good, what's best for the city. I think in his heart he's going to do what's best for the city," Claudio said. 

Claudio says members of the Safe Neighborhood Watch and others in the city have sent letters to Sarno with suggestions. Each of the three deputy chiefs have been with the police department for more than 25 years.

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