Springfield’s new Police Chief was sworn in Thursday. The new chief isn’t new to town. Richard Lewis has been with the Springfield Police Department for more than 30 years.
He says the challenges of modern policing include dealing with people with mental health issues. Lewis says another challenge is recruiting new officers.
“There’s a nationwide issue.“ Lewis says, “Policing been under quite the scrutiny across the country. And also there was a number of horrible incidents where police officers were targeted and killed and I think that’s kind of had a chilling effect on people when they decide what profession to go into.”
Lewis says work is underway to improve recruitment.
He says Springfield PD has established a good relationship with the community, but there’s more that can be done.