President Lederman to Convene Oversight Meetings on Police Commission, Consent Decree
Springfield City Council President Jesse Lederman will convene quarterly meetings of the City Council’s Committee of the Whole to oversee the ongoing implementation of the Springfield Board of Police Commissioners, as well as the Consent Decree ordered by the U.S. Department of Justice.
President Lederman has scheduled the first meeting of this kind on Wednesday, October 5 at 5:30 PM in the City Council Chambers. The meeting will also stream live on the city’s municipal meetings YouTube page.
“The implementation of the Board of Police Commissioners and the DOJ Consent Decree is of monumental importance and deserves the consistent attention of the entire City Council,” said Council President Lederman, “The important work of reform should not take place behind closed doors – residents and officers deserve to know the status of these reforms as well as the associated successes and challenges.”
“These meetings will give Councilors and the public the opportunity to receive consistent updates on the status of implementation, an opportunity for Councilors to bring forward questions from the community, and for members of the Police Commission or administration to identify any issues that have arisen with implementation,” added Lederman.
The Board of Police Commissioners, City Solicitor John Payne, Superintendent Cheryl Clapprood, and representatives of the Department of Justice and the Compliance Evaluation Team in charge of monitoring the Consent Decree, will all be invited.
“The establishment of a Board of Police Commissioners is about creating a fair and transparent system of accountability, professionalism, and checks and balances that the public and members of the department can trust and rely on,” said Council President Lederman, “The City Council did not blink on pursuing this matter all the way to the Supreme Judicial Court, and we will not blink on its implementation either. It is incumbent upon us to ensure that the members of the Police Commission have the resources and tools they need to be successful, and that their legal authority is enforced and respected.”
Council President Lederman was the author and lead sponsor of the City Council’s 2020 order to retain independent legal representation and initiate the lawsuit against Mayor Domenic Sarno for failure to appoint the Police Commission that resulted in a Supreme Judicial Court Ruling in favor of the City Council’s efforts.
Prior to that, Councilor Lederman was the lead sponsor of the resolution urging the Springfield Police Department to move forward with pursuing state and national accreditation, a process now underway.
Council President Lederman will convene additional oversight meetings on a quarterly basis and as needed as situations arise pertaining to the Police Commission or DOJ Consent Decree.