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Mayor Sarno and Police Commissioner Clapprood Announces Custody Protect Pilot Program

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood announced today that the Springfield Police Department (SPD) will be initializing a pilot program to use artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor the health and safety of people in custody of the SPD.

The Custody Protect Pilot Program will help safeguard the health and safety of those individuals who are in the custody of the Springfield Police Department. The SPD Metro Unit will act as the initial division within SPD for the phased rollout of the program.

The pilot program will use Custody Protect, by 4Sight Labs, to monitor individuals during arrest, transportation and detention. As police reforms are being discussed across the nation, the City of Springfield’s Police Department continues to utilize and explore new policies and procedures to better enhance our local policing model for the betterment of all of our citizens. The SPD will embrace this technology of the pilot program to help deliver accountability and transparency.

The Custody Protect (CP) Program includes attaching CP sensors to those individuals who are arrested and find themselves in the custody of the SPD. Once the CP sensors are active, they will monitor the health conditions of the individual. The CP sensors will remain attached during transportation and detention, until they are released or transferred to another agency. The CP sensor can notify CP identified SPD officers, supervisors, watch commanders, etc., if there is an alert of the condition of the individual in custody. This will greatly assist the SPD in safely monitoring the health and wellbeing of those in custody who may be at risk of suicide, addiction and other substance abuse disorders, or existing health conditions that might need special attention.

Mayor Sarno stated, “I want to thank Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood for her continued leadership. This initial pilot program, which is the first in the nation, continues our progressive public health and safety initiatives. This program will kick-off with our downtown Metro Unit, will go a long way in helping to monitor the health and safety of those who find themselves in police custody as they await being processed once arrested, released, or transferred to another agencies custody. For those individuals suffering from suicidal tendencies, struggling with addiction or substance abuse, or an existing health condition – this new Custody Protection unit will give our brave and dedicated police officers another tool to proactively monitor the health and safety of those in the custody of our SPD.” Police Commissioner Clapprood states, “We are eager to take part in this pilot program by 4Sight Labs. Mayor Sarno is always willing to stay ahead of the curve with new technology. While subjects are in our custody for less time than ever before, this should help protect us from the unknown of what a subject may have recently put in their body or any prior medical conditions we just didn’t know about. We will be able to provide immediate aid when we’re alerted by ‘Custody Protect’ to hopefully prevent a tragedy from happening.”

“There’s more tracking and monitoring for an Amazon package than there is for a person in custody. We’re going to change that. The police need new tools to do this job in today’s world,” said John DeFalco, CEO of 4Sight Labs. People are at their most vulnerable and fragile state when being arrested. Police officers must be instantly ready to go from arrest to rescue if a person in their custody needs help. This is especially true when arresting people with substance-abuse disorders. The drug epidemic has caused a healthcare crisis amongst people in custody, with police and corrections officers at the frontlines.

The Custody Protect Pilot Program could begin being phased into implementation for training and testing with our SPD Metro Unit starting in late January 2021, with a live demonstration of the program being ready as early as February 2021. The program could go live and into service with the Metro Unit as early as mid-February 2021.

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