SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Police Department Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood sent her Sergeants to professional development training this week at American International College.

The two-day sixteen hour course taught by Pittsfield Police Chief Michael Wynn and co-sponsored by American International College educated the Springfield Police Department’s first-line supervisors on progressive discipline, leadership and supervision.  Ten Sergeants attended this course; an additional ten Sergeants will attend in September and again in October.

“Continuing education and training is vital for our Supervisory staff.  Sergeants in our Department especially younger Sergeants are placed in situations where they are making decisions involving veteran officers or new officers.  In any workplace, there’s a balance between being a friend and being a boss.  Chief Wynn’s resume and experience makes him one of the best leadership trainers in all of law enforcement.  These sessions will be instrumental in providing our first-line supervisors with knowledge and skills they can use on the street.  With the support of Mayor Sarno we strive to provide the best support, training and education for all our Supervisors,” said Springfield Police Commissioner Clapprood.

Clapprood continued, “This professional development training is in line with the highest professional standards and will guide better decision making.  This will also assist us in our goal of obtaining state certification from the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission (MPAC) as we strive to modernize our police department and provide our supervisors with the best training and education available.”

Chief Wynn has served as Chief of the Pittsfield Police Department since 2007 and was one of the first nine appointees to the Massachusetts Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission.  On April 1st, Governor Charlie Baker and Attorney General Maura Healey announced the appointments of the nine inaugural members of the Massachusetts Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission. The POST Commission will create a mandatory certification process for police officers, as well as processes for decertification, suspension of certification, or reprimand in the event of certain misconduct. The 9-member Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission is an independent agency, with appointees from the Governor and Attorney General, which was established by Chapter 253 of the Acts of 2020, signed by the Governor in December of 2020.

Chief Wynn stated, “First line supervisors are the most important element in any organization’s supervisory and command structure. Those supervisors who work alongside line personnel providing police services to residents are instrumental in ensuring quality service delivery. They need to be provided with the specific tools and knowledge that they will require in order to provide effective leadership. It was my honor and privilege to spend a couple of days with this group of committed professionals and to share some of my experiences and observations with them.”

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno stated, “Professional development training is key and so important for our public employees, especially for our brave and dedicated men and women in blue.  In any field of work, it is important to stay on top of the protocols and procedures for the supervision of those working with and under you.  This leadership training is vital in making sure our SPD Sergeants have the professional tools and training available to support our department and more importantly, for the betterment and mutual respect and understanding of all our residents and business community.”

“I commend Commissioner Clapprood and her leadership team for implementing this important initiative,” Mayor Sarno added.  “As we continue to strive to stay above attrition, we acknowledge that we have a young department and Commissioner Clapprood and I fully support providing these training and professional development initiatives to help enhance our SPD and build leadership skills for our officers and Sergeants”

This training had been scheduled in 2020, but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The department’s lieutenants will also complete a similar training in the fall.