Springfield Police Union ‘Optimistic’ About Working With New Commish

The union representing Springfield cops says it’s optimistic it can work with the city’s next police boss.

The local president of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers, Joe Gentile, says officers are pleased with the mayor’s pick of deputy chief John Barbieri.

“I think the most important thing is that he be fair to our members,” Gentile says. “And that he support us.”

And, Gentile adds, get them the equipment and training they need to do their job, “a job that becomes more and more difficult every year, it seems.”

Eventually this good will is going be tested, when union leaders and Barbieri will find themselves on opposite sides of a negotiating table.

Contracts are always difficult, Gentile says, “But fortunately for us when Deputy Barbieri becomes Commissioner Barbieri, we will have a contract in place and we can start off on a good foot.”

The contract for his roughly 370 members does come up the summer of 2016.