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Beleaguered Springfield officer Gregg Bigda, now denied pay, still seeking recertification

Springfield Police Department vehicle.
Elizabeth Román
Springfield Police Department vehicle.

A controversial Springfield, Massachusetts, police officer who has just been suspended from the city payroll still wants to get back on the force, his lawyer said.

Former narcotics officer Gregg Bigda has come to symbolize much of the criticism against the city's police force, which is now under a federal consent decree for its history of excessive force.

Bigda was disciplined and widely condemned for police misconduct, including a 2016 incident in Palmer in which he bullied and threatened young suspects.

But he was acquitted in a criminal trial and still getting his salary.

A state commission later denied his request to be recertified as an officer. He is now appealing that decision.

This week, Springfield's police commission suspended Bigda's pay, in a 3 to 1 vote, but did not throw him off the force entirely.

"I think that was the prudent course of action," said Donald Keveaney, Bigda's attorney, "because I think ultimately we're going to prevail in the appeal."

Springfield Mayor Dominic Sarno disagreed with the police commission's decision.

“I am extremely disappointed in the action taken by the Board of Police Commissioners with regards to the status of Mr. Bigda," Sarno said in a statement. "He has been decertified, and should have been terminated without question.”

Karen Brown is a radio and print journalist who focuses on health care, mental health, children’s issues, and other topics about the human condition. She has been a full-time radio reporter for NEPM since 1998.
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