More Patrols, Real-Time Analysis, Collaboration Top To-Do List Of Springfield’s New Police Boss

Springfield’s incoming police commissioner on Monday night unveiled his top priorities as the city’s top cop. It was Deputy Chief John Barbieri’s first public presentation sine his appointment.

Barbieri wants to shift more officers from specialized units to uniformed patrols. He’ll use real-time crime analysis to assist them, and expand a community-based initiative called C-3 Policing that’s been successful in the North End.

“In the nineties, I could put thirty officers on a street for 24 hours if there was a problem,” Barbieri told the crowd at Van Sickle Middle School. “[In] 2014, I need your information, which I can turn into actionable intelligence, and I can put 15 officers on that street for an hour. But I can put it at the right hour, dealing with the right people and eliminate the problem.”

Barbieri says he also wants to strengthen collaborations with non-profits, the clergy and residents. That’s heartening to Archbishop Timothy Paul, who is president of the Council of Churches of Western Massachusetts .

“I mean, we have too many complaints from too many citizens that are afraid of the police. Don’t, won’t even talk to the police,” Paul said. “And if this objective is implemented, I think you may find you may be able to get a little more cooperation from the community.”

Barbieri officially takes over as police commissioner on June 1st, succeeding William Fitchett, who is retiring.