Five days into his new position as Springfield’s top cop, John Barbieri was officially sworn in Thursday as its Police Commissioner. In a ceremony at Old First Church attended by local, state, and federal law enforcement officials, Barbieri said he is both humbled and proud to serve in his new capacity. He promised to use progressive new policies to battle crime in the city. But Barbieri stressed even the best equipped department must rely on the public to be effective.
“There are people out there that know who the persons are in our communities that carry firearms, the persons in our communities that sell poisonous drugs to addicts who take advantage of their addictions,” Barbieri said. “Don’t they bear a certain moral responsibility to the victims of crimes and their families to come forward?”
Barbieri’s swearing-in comes amidst a spate of recent shootings that have resulted in three deaths in a span of ten days. Police say there have been no arrests in connection with the murders, largely due to what they say are uncooperative witnesses.