Justice Ireland’s lecture, ‘A View from the Bench: Chief Justice Ireland’s thoughts on Policing – the good, the bad and the ugly’, provided a unique view and presentation on police community relations and an observation on policing, justice and race.
Retired Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Justice, and currently Distinguished Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Northeastern University, Roderick Ireland stated, "I have had the pleasure and honor of serving on the bench for 37 years, including as the first African-American to sit on the Commonwealth's highest court. My message to the police, in a nutshell, is that they must communicate and be transparent in their dealings with communities of color -- being mindful of both the reality and perception of their actions in order to generate and sustain trust -- and understanding that their work, just as the work of anyone who interacts with the public, no matter the field-- can be affected by racial bias, both intentional and implicit, which could impact on their use of discretion, including their decisions about the use of force -- and that they should remember that all of their actions will be reviewed by the courts, which will apply all of the Constitutional safeguards and protections, and the law. I applaud the city of Springfield's efforts to enhance and improve police-community relations. It takes real leadership to acknowledge a fault and work towards a resolution. It is my expectations that the Springfield police supervisors that graduate from this professional development leadership program will take what they learned and utilize that knowledge and skills for the betterment of the Department and residents of the City of Springfield.”
Springfield Police Superintendent Cheryl Clapprood stated, “I’d like to thank Babson College and its staff, this professional development training is in line with the highest professional standard and will also assist us in our pursuit of obtaining state certification from the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission (MPAC) as we continue to modernize our police department and provide our supervisors with the best training and education available. Mayor Sarno has also supported this mission from day one as we continue to provide leadership and professional developing training for our Supervisors. We hope to continue this program with another group of Supervisors in the near future.”
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno states, “Police Superintendent Cheryl Clapprood and I want to thank Babson College for their continued support of the City of Springfield Police Department as the Department embraces the goals of the Police Leadership Blue Sky Program. Under Superintendent Clapprood’s leadership, our SPD continues to enhance their professional development training for their supervisors that is in line with the highest professional standards. I applaud Superintendent Clapprood and her leadership team for their efforts in advancing this initiative to enhance the leadership skills of our brave and dedicated men and women in Blue.”
“Also, I deeply appreciate my friend and Springfield native the well-respected Jurist Rick Ireland putting it straight forward on ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’ in order to continue to move our SPD forward. As Babson College President Stephen Spinelli, a Springfield South End native, stated during his recent visit, Springfield is a national model with this program,” Mayor Sarno added.
Springfield Police Superintendent Cheryl Clapprood sent a dozen Springfield Police Supervisors to the Police Leadership Blue Sky Program taught by Babson College Faculty. The course, which began in January, involved seven full-day sessions taught at the Springfield Police Training Facility on Page Boulevard. The program is designed to help drive a culture of creativity and innovation in decision-making and leadership skills as well as build better relationships within the community. The class graduated on Friday and participants received certificates.
“Professional Development and leadership training is an area that we continue to address at the Springfield Police Department as it is vital for our Supervisory staff,” said Superintendent Clapprood. “We strive to provide the best training and education for all our Supervisors and Mayor Sarno has supported this mission from the onset. This professional development training is in line with the highest professional standard and will also assist us in our pursuit of obtaining state certification from the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission (MPAC) as we continue to modernize our police department and provide our supervisors with the best training and education available.”
Kevin Sullivan, Vice President of Babson College and former Mayor of Lawrence added, “Mayor Domenic Sarno and Superintendent Cheryl Clapprood are affirmatively changing policing in Springfield for the 21st century. Babson College is proud to provide the management and leadership tools to the dedicated Superior Officers of the Springfield police department to help facilitate this positive change.”
The program will focus on taking care of yourself in a stressful profession, performance management and decision-making under stress. Additionally an important aspect of the program is the completion of the Reflected Best Self Exercise which was developed at the University of Michigan and reviewed in the Harvard Business Review. The program is taught by Babson College Faculty members Scott Taylor and Dwight Gertz.
Taylor is an Assistant Professor and the Inaugural Arthur M. Blank Endowed Chair for Values-Based Leadership at The Blank School at Babson College. His research focuses on leadership assessment and development. He has worked with more than 50 companies including the National Football League, Biogen, Pfizer and the City of Albuquerque.
Gertz is a Senior Lecturer of strategy, leadership and executive decision-making at Babson. He has 25 years of experience including teaching admirals in the United States Navy. Gertz served as an active and reserve officer in the United States Navy where he retired as a Captain.
This was a continuation of Superintendent Clapprood’s approach to provide professional development training for Springfield Police Department’s Supervisors. In July Superintendent Clapprood sent ten Sergeants to a professional development course taught by Pittsfield Police Chief Michael Wynn, a member of the POST Commission created by the Massachusetts Police Reform Bill, and co-sponsored by American International College.