Springfield, MA – Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and the City of Springfield along with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) jointly announced today the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for an independent compliance evaluator per the terms of the settlement agreement that was agreed upon last month.
Under the terms of the settlement agreement, the City of Springfield, Springfield Police Department and DOJ will jointly select an independent compliance evaluator, who will serve as an agent of the Court, and who will assess and report whether the requirements of the agreement have been implemented and whether this implementation is resulting in constitutional and effective policing. The compliance evaluator will work with both the City of Springfield and DOJ to identify and address any barriers to compliance and provide technical assistance to the Springfield Police Department (SPD) to overcome those barriers. The compliance evaluator will not, nor is it intended to, replace or assume the role and duties of any SPD employee, including the Board of Police Commissioners or the Police Superintendent or any other city official.
The role of the compliance evaluator is expressly limited to assessing and reporting on the implementation of this agreement, and it is not the role of the compliance evaluator to change either the scope or the terms of the agreement.
Per the DOJ, all RFQ applications for the compliance evaluator will be posted on the City of Springfield’s website. The city and the DOJ will jointly review the RFQ applications and select an applicant of the highest ethics, standards and expertise in law enforcement and demonstrate a commitment and capacity to ensure constitutional policing. The city’s internal review team will comprise of Mayor Sarno or his designee, and individuals from the Law Department and the Springfield Police Department.
The RFQ for the Compliance Evaluator is posted on the city’s Law Department website at www.springfield-ma.gov/cos/law. RFQ applications are due by June 10, 2022 and are to be submitted by email to the email addresses listed below:
Deputy City Solicitor Kathleen Breck: firstname.lastname@example.org
DOJ Civil Rights Division Attorney Nicole Porter: Nicole.email@example.com
DOJ Assistant US Attorney Michelle Leung: Michelle.firstname.lastname@example.org
Mayor Sarno states, “My administration will continue to move forward in conjunction with the DOJ on the initiatives and reforms, many of which we have already implemented, with a goal of striving to have the best Springfield Police Department possible. Simply put, it is a balance between public safety and officer accountability. Working together with the DOJ we will review the RFQ applications for the independent compliance evaluator, per the terms of the settlement agreement, so that we can focus on improving and enhancing our policing practices, training, and document and record tracking to increase accountability and transparency.”
“Under Superintendent Cheryl Clapprood’s leadership, our SPD has implemented numerous reforms and initiatives from body-worn cameras, new leadership training and mental health response aspects with BHN clinicians, just to name a few,” Mayor Sarno continued. “Overall, accountability has greatly increased with the implementation of body worn cameras. SPD is the largest department in the Commonwealth that has implemented a body worn camera program for all uniform and plainclothes officers. Additionally, in the two years since Cheryl Clapprood became Police Superintendent, the former Narcotics Unit, now the Firearms Investigation Unit, has received zero (0) excessive force complaints, a period that covers 2019 to March 2022, while taking hundreds of illegal guns off our streets and out of our neighborhoods.”
“My administration is committed to working with the independent compliance evaluator as we continue to implement and enhance our city and improve our policing practices for the betterment of our residents and business community,” said Mayor Sarno. “Much of these agreed measures put forth in this agreement are already in place or are in the process of be implemented under the leadership of Police Superintendent Cheryl Clapprood and her leadership team. Those items not already being addressed will be reviewed and the process to implement them will be forth coming under the settlement agreement.”