SPRINGFIELD, NJ — In the wake of George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis Police officers late last month, the country has seen protests and other mass movements against police brutality.
In Springfield, residents have held a community vigil, and marched from the middle school to the municipal building. Yesterday afternoon, the Springfield Police Department released a detailed statement with data on use of force incidents in the department from 2017 through 2019.
Two years ago, in 2018, NJ Advance Media released The Force Report, which TAPinto Springfield previously covered. The project detailed that while Springfield had a much lower rate of incidents regarding use of force than some surrounding towns, officers in the department had still used force on several occasions.
Yesterday afternoon, in an apparent effort to clear the air, the department released its force records for the past three years. Data from 2020 was not made available as the year is only halfway completed.
The data released by the department shows the following breakdown in incidents of force:
- 2017 - Three incidents (three reports filed)
- 2018 - Two incidents (11 reports filed)
- 2019 - four incidents (seven reports filed)
The reason for the discrepancy between the number of incidents of use of force and the reports filed can be explained by the fact that department protocols require every officer at the scene involved in the use of force to file a report.
In the statement posted to their Facebook page, the Springfield Police Department said that they hope to bolster a stronger relationship between the police department and community members.
As a result, according to the post, the department is publicizing of use-of-force numbers, an act meant to serve as a transparency gesture that the department hopes will further the working relationship between the police and residents.
The full details of each listing can be found in the Facebook post from the department embedded in this article.