SPD responds to anonymous complaint highlighted by Councilor Hurst

Kate Wilkinson and Amy Phillips

3 months ago

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)– Springfield City Councilor Justin Hurst is demanding an investigation after receiving an anonymous complaint from a Springfield Police Officer about members of the Springfield Police Department.

22News has learned two Springfield police officers in the Firearms Investigation Unit were transferred after allegations surfaced that they were drinking on the job.

Superintendent Cheryl Clapprood said no hard evidence has been put forward and no one has filed a complaint with the internal investigation unit.

“We thought we’d set the record straight from the get go. I don’t want the public to worry about or think that I have officers who drink on duty or that we are covering anything up,” said Springfield Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood.

In a letter sent to 22News, Hurst is asking Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, the Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission (POST), the Department of Justice and the Compliance Evaluation team “to investigate claims by an anonymous police officer accusing two fellow officers of drinking on the job and another of being involved in a hit and run incident on duty that injured a suspect.”

Clapprood said the hit and run incident did not meet the qualifications for charges to be filed but it will go before the Accident Review Board. As for the alleged claim of two officers drinking on the job, the Superintendent had this to say as to why she transferred those two officers from the department.

“We heard rumors and I heard innuendos and I looked into the unit, and all I noticed was production was down a bit, which could be somebody’s not a good fit in the unit, the bosses don’t have the right relationship. So I made the transfers,” said Clapprood.

22News asked Clapprood if she plans to investigate those allegations, she said she has asked the department to report any evidence but will not conduct an investigation based on rumors.

In an internal email Friday to her department, Clapprood asked employees to report any factual evidence to the Internal Investigation Unit:

“If you have any factual evidence of anyone drinking while on duty or putting our officers lives at risk please contact the IIU.

The hit and run at the Mercy hospital reports came into my office and I consulted with the Command Staff, the officer’s Captain and Lieutenant, the traffic Lieutenant and law department and we all agreed the elements of leaving the scene of a personal injury accident were not there and the officer should not be charged as such.

If you are disgruntled because you did not get a promotion, you are or have been disciplined or you didn’t get that transfer you wanted, then besides firing off an anonymous letter that hurts the entire department, please act in a mature, adult manner and take it as a learning experience that you can build from. If you cannot do that please move on and go elsewhere.”

Superintendent Cheryl C. Clapprood

You can read Councilor Hurst’s news release requesting an investigation here:

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