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Interim Springfield Police chief to provide update on department Monday

The chief will give city councilors an update on his work to modernize the department.

Posted: Oct 25, 2021 8:24 AM

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – Interim Springfield Police Chief Andrew Shearer has been on the job for just over five months, and on Monday evening, he will give city councilors an update on his work to modernize the department.

According to a memo, Shearer plans to update councilors on hiring and staffing, recommendations from a report related to the shooting death of Stacy Kenny, new police software and the use of body-worn and in-car cameras.

When it comes to staffing, Shearer wrote in the memo the department has 103 of its 122 positions filled. Out of 55 police officer positions, 45 are filled.

RELATED: INTERIM SPRINGFIELD POLICE CHIEF PLEDGES TO ADDRESS DEMANDS FOR CHANGE

“The scarcity of candidates and increasing competition among law enforcement agencies for quality applicants requires SPD to have an efficient hiring process, without compromise to standards,” Shearer wrote.

He said the department is trying to recruit more aggressively and streamline the hiring process.

When it comes to transparency, every officer now has a body-worn camera, and 24 patrol cars also have them mounted inside.

Police said the cameras “will improve accountability for SPD members and for those community members who are recorded during police interactions.”

Shearer will also give an update on the police response to a report this year report that said officers failed to deescalate a situation that led to the deadly shooting of Stacy Kenny in 2019.

RELATED: NEW REPORT ON STACY KENNY'S DEATH HIGHLIGHTS OFFICERS' FAILURE TO DE-ESCALATE

The report gave Springfield police 33 recommendations on how the agency can improve its policing. The city is writing a response to each of the 33 recommendations, and expects to finish that in the next month or two. When the written response is final, it will be shared online and available to the public.

You can tune into the work session virtual meeting Monday evening at 5:30.

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