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Posted on: September 30, 2020

Town Manager Seeks Members to Serve on Community Safety Working Group

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Town Manager Paul Bockelman is seeking residents to serve on a newly formed Community Safety Working Group.  

The purpose of the Community Safety Working Group is to (a) make recommendations on alternative ways of providing public safety services to the community and (b) make recommendations on reforms to the current organizational and oversight structures of the Amherst Police Department.

The Working Group will have nine voting members. No fewer than six of the nine voting members shall represent Black, Indigenous, People of Color, or other historically marginalized communities. 

The Working Group shall: 

  • Study the complex issues of delivering community safety services – currently provided through the police department and other means –to ensure racial equity; 
  • Recommend reforms to the current organizational and oversight structures; 
  • Examine existing Town funding priorities for delivering community safety services. The Working Group can achieve this by: 
    • Learning from previous work by the Town through previous studies and committees; 
    • Examining current public safety services and how they are delivered; 
    • Reviewing policies, complaints, and current training practices; 
    • Exploring models of resident oversight of police departments; 
    • Collecting data from people’s experiences in Amherst; 
    • Engaging the communities most impacted by policing to develop alternatives and identify solutions to diagnosed problems; 
    • Investigating alternative models such as: 
      • Eugene “Cahoots” - Crisis Assistance Helping Out on the Street; 
      • Albuquerque - Community Safety Alternative; 
      • Denver STAR –Support Team Assisted Response. 

The Working Group shall submit a written report to the Town Manager by January 15, 2021 on alternative options to public safety services currently provided by the Amherst Police Department. 

The Working Group shall also submit a written report to the Town Manager by June 30, 2021 on recommendations for resident oversight and for policy reforms for the Amherst Police Department.  

We are especially seeking individuals of diverse backgrounds to participate. Members will be expected to prepare for and participate in meetings that will occur at least twice per month until June 30, 2021. Meetings will be in public and take place on the Zoom virtual meeting platform. 

If you are interested, please express your interest by filling out a specific Community Safety Working Group Community Activity Form. Applicants will be interviewed by an Interview Team who will make recommendations to the Town Manager for appointment. Appointed members will also be reviewed by the Town Council.  

To fill out your application to serve, please click here

If you have questions, reach out to our Community Participation Officers at getinvolved@amherstma.gov

A webpage outlining the Working Group's charge and other details is coming soon. 


  

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