Massachusetts City Agrees To Reform Police Department After DOJ Investigation
Kevin Dietsch

A Massachusetts city has agreed to reform its police force after the Department of Justice found that officers used excessive force.

In 2018 the DOJ launched an investigation into the Springfield Police Department and discovered officers in the Narcotics Bureau were depriving citizens of their constitutional rights and “engaged in a pattern or practice of” misconduct. 

U.S. Attorney Rachel Rollins for the District of Massachusetts said,  “When communities don’t trust or fear law enforcement, it undermines public safety. Some within the Springfield Police Department, through their sustained and documented constitutional violations, have tarnished the name of the many upstanding and decent police officers working in Springfield.”

The DOJ’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts has proposed a consent decree that will reshape the city’s police department and eliminate policies put in place under the Trump administration, Reuters reported

The Justice Department said that with the new agreement, the city’s police department will undergo new training tactics related to the use of force. 

“These improvements will ensure that officers avoid force whenever possible through the use of de-escalation tactics; that officers know when force can and cannot be used’ and that officers report all instances where force is used,” the DOJ said in a statement.

Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke said, “This consent decree will rebuild the public’s trust by ensuring that Springfield officers who use excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment are held accountable.”