Last spring, Springfield City Council members promised change was a'coming to the police department. A proposal has arrived courtesy of Ward 3 Ald. Doris Turner, whose proposed ordinance released last week says that cops shouldn't use rubber bullets or tear gas or chokeholds or no-knock warrants unless really needed. Pretty much, that's what we already do, police chief Kenny Winslow told the council on Tuesday. He did highlight one change that might be apropos of nothing. Under Turner's proposal, all complaints against police would be referred to the city's Police Community Review Commission, a paper tiger created years ago that has heard few complaints, perhaps because it has no power of subpoena or other means to force officers to testify or compel the production of evidence. The police union, Winslow told the council, likely will resist any requirement that automatically refers internal complaints to a civilian board. "Everything else, I think, they're already on board with, because that's what we already do," the chief said. Describing relations between communities and cops nationwide as in a tinderbox, Winslow said he worries that Springfield could become the next Kenosha. Use of force is ugly, the chief said, and not following police instructions is dangerous. "You have to comply with officers on the side of the road – you cannot resist even a unlawful arrest, by law," the chief said. "We all have to go home at night."

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