Getting Answers: New use of force policy discussion in Springfield PD

Getting Answers: New use of force policy discussion in Springfield PD
Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 7:35 PM EST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) -Western Mass News is getting answers after a Thursday afternoon discussing the new use of force policy proposed by the Springfield Police Department.

Timely, as an officer- involved shooting took place in the city just Wednesday.

On Wednesday morning, police said a suspect was shot in the elbow, after he stole a car and refused to get out for police.

“He refused to do so, and he started playing this game with escape with the car, where he hit the cruiser, he hit a car in the driveway, he rode on the lawn. and at one point, he was going in a direction towards an officer, and the other officer felt, obviously, His life was in jeopardy, so a shot was fired, and the suspect was struck in the elbow,” said Superintendent Cheryl Clapprood, of the Springfield Police Department.

The incident is under investigation by the Springfield Police Department, and the Hampden District Attorney’s Office.

Now, we’re learning more about the proposed use of force policy by the Springfield Police Department, and how it may affect events like these.

On Thursday, the Public Safety Committee held a meeting with members of the Springfield Police Department, to better understand the policy and its importance. Councilor Victor Davilla told Western Mass News it’s important that the policy makes clear that the city won’t accept any excessive use of force.

“We’re going to make it very clear to the police officers that we will no longer tolerate excessive force in the city of Springfield. It will also specifically spell out what you’re able to do and not do,” he said.

But on the other hand, Davilla said it’s also important to remember that reasonable use of force can be necessary in life-or-death situations.

“Just because an officer uses force, it doesn’t mean that it was excessive. Unfortunately, sometimes, it’s the right thing to do,” he explained.

The first draft of the use of force policy received public comment already. It will be reviewed again, both by the police department and the department of justice.

Councilor Davilla also said he hopes the Springfield Board of Police Commissioners will have a say in the use of force policy, before it gets approved.