As Sarno Completes Interviews For Police Commissioner, City Council Ponders Vote On Citizen-Led Police Commission

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno has completed interviewing candidates to succeed Police Commissioner William Fitchett, who is retiring this summer.

A spokesperson for Sarno is declining to give details, but confirms the mayor interviewed three of the city’s deputy chiefs last week. He says Sarno will appoint a new commissioner in the near future.

This comes despite a city council resolution calling on the mayor to open up a national search for the position. The council also wants the appointment delayed until after it considers an ordinance that would reconstitute a citizen-led police commission with hiring and firing authority.

“We’re asking that the mayor respect our process in the same way we respect his,” says Council President Michael Fenton.

The council’s next regular meeting is scheduled for March 24th. But Fenton says there’s a possibility a special meeting could be called sometime this week to vote on re-forming the police commission, which is opposed by the mayor.

There is pressure to act soon. Some councilors concede the proposal will be doomed if Sarno appoints a new police commissioner before they pass the ordinance.