Springfield mayor proposes change to bail system in wake of fall - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Springfield mayor proposes change to bail system in wake of fallen Yarmouth officer

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(Western Mass News file photo) (Western Mass News file photo)
SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

On Tuesday, thousands gathered in Yarmouth to honor a police officer killed in the line of duty last week.

Officer Sean Gannon was killed while serving an arrest warrant and his K9 partner Nero was shot in the face but is healing.
 
The man charged with Gannon’s death 111 criminal convictions and has been described as a career criminal. 
 
In the wake of Officer Gannon’s death, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno is calling for support of a bill he proposed two years ago that would make a major change to the bail system. 

It's been two years since the death of Auburn Police Officer Ron Tarantino who was killed in the line of duty. Fast forward to 2018, and now we are dealing with the loss of yet another officer.
 
"What does it take for our judicial system to keep these prolific violent offenders behind bars and hold them on substantial bail?" Sarno asked.
 
Mayor Sarno proposed legislation two years ago to change the bail system.
 
"If these people were behind bars these officers would still be alive," said Sarno.
 
Right now defense lawyers can appeal bails set by district court to the superior court.

Sarno told Western Mass News he would like prosecutors to be able to do the same. 

A bill proposed by Mayor Sarno and filed in the house of representatives failed to get out of committee.
 
"This can combat these prolific violent offenders from being on our streets and in our neighborhoods and stop the onslaught and murders that are occurring," Sarno noted. 

Springfield Police Commissioner John Barbieri said he supports prosecutors appealing bail to higher courts after seeing an all too familiar scenario with repeat offenders.
 
"They go to court and they learn that don't cross this line they walk over the line and nothing happens, they become more emboldened," said Barbieri. 
 
Which the commissioner said can corrode the trust between the community and the officers that serve.
 
"It starts to desensitize our victims they have less and less faith in the people intimidating them and ruining their neighborhoods and are less likely to cooperate," Barbieri added.
 
He said the goal of the justice system is for the courts and police system to work together but it just takes one instance for a tragedy to occur.
 
"Doesn't matter how nice of a cop you are, doesn't matter how many breaks you've given people. If you're at the wrong end of that firearm your family will pay the price," Barbieri continued. 
 
Western Mass News has reached out to the Hampden County Bar Association for comment. 

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. 

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