Mayor Domenic J. Sarno joined with Sheriff Nick Cocchi, Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood, Executive Director of PBRM Patrick Sullivan, and Assistant Director PBRM Pete Krupczak to announce the continued creative partnership to enhance our public safety aspects in our beloved Forest Park.
Mayor Sarno stated, “Working with Sheriff Nick Cocchi, the city will continue with this unique and innovative creative partnership with the Hampden County Sheriff’s Office with dedicated Forest Park patrols under the auspices of Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood. We received rave reviews from the public and the timing couldn’t be better with our students being out of school as we deal with mitigating and containment of the COVID-19 –coronavirus. Anticipated to start Wednesday, March 18, 2020 and continue until Saturday, October 31, 2020, Deputy Sheriffs will patrol Forest Park in Hampden County Sheriff’s Department (HCSD) marked cruisers. Shift times are 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, and 2:00 pm to 10:00 pm, with two Deputy Sheriffs per shift. The HCSD deputies will report to Commissioner Clapprood. There is no cost to the City, SPD or HCSD.”
“I cannot thank Sheriff Cocchi enough for continuing this unique partnership. We are so appreciative of the continued support of Sheriff Cocchi’s community based approach.” Mayor Sarno added, “I’d also like to extend my sincere thanks to labor union presidents Officer Joe Gentile and Captain Brian Keenan for their cooperative efforts in this joint venture. We have a beautiful overall park system, especially with our crown jewel, the Olmsted-designed Forest Park and we want to keep it that way, enjoyable to all families, who come from near and far.”
“Whenever Mayor Sarno puts out the call for assistance, the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department will always answer the call. It just made sense to start earlier this year with schools out due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic,” said Sheriff Nick Cocchi. “Through teamwork alongside the Springfield Police, we know it’s going to be a great season working in Forest Park.”
“During these extraordinary times having partnerships in law enforcement are more important than ever. Last summer the services Sheriff Cocchi and his team provided in Forest Park worked out very well for everyone and we will continue those this year. Forest Park has always been a safe environment and this will help us maintain a high visibility approach for our residents and visitors,” said Springfield Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood.
“The Springfield Parks Department is thrilled to be partnering with the Springfield Police Department and the Hampden County Sherriff’s Department. The enforcement of the parks rules and regulations ensure everyone visiting the parks has the opportunity to enjoy the beauty and serenity of the park system. Over the past five year, the Springfield Parks have received over $15 million dollar investment and the park patrols will be a welcome addition to secure the beauty of our parks and be a resource to our visitors,” said Patrick Sullivan, Executive Director of Parks, Buildings & Recreation Management.