Community Policing Advisory Review Board Announces May 8 Listening Session

CPARB announces listening session May 8thBennington’s Community Policing Advisory Review Board Continues Progress and Seeks Input

In 2022, Bennington became one of just a couple hundred communities in the United States to have a police advisory board. The purpose of the board is to work in partnership with the Select Board, Town of Bennington, and the Bennington Police Department to continue building trust between the police and the community. How this came to be was the result of many efforts over the past five years.

The underlying goal is for our police department to be a positive participant in our community, reflecting a “policing by consent” model. The police must retain authority as public safety professionals, but the community gets a voice in clearly defining expectations. It’s a way to increase interaction and education for both the police and the community we all share.

In 2021 the select board appointed a ten member Safety and Equity Task Force. The task force embarked on a year long process to draft a proposal for the creation of an advisory board, to be named the Community Policing Advisory Review Board (CPARB for short). The proposal was adopted by the Select Board in March of 2022 and the first six (out of a possible seven) CPARB members were seated in June of 2022.

CPARB members underwent extensive training to be ready for their new role. This included dozens of hours learning about current policing, ride alongs with police, learning about open meeting laws, reviewing policing data, and looking at the work of other advisory boards around the country. As part of this process, the Town also hired a consultant, Brian Corr, immediate past president of the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE), to assist with training for the new board. 

The original board consisted of Scott Richmond, Will Greer, Kelly Carroll (chair person), Jeff Vickers, Robert Ebert, and Marsh Hudson-Knapp. Ebert and Hudson-Knapp left in 2023 and were replaced in June of 2023 by Lindsay Brillon and Kathleen Kost, as well as Vickie Lampron who took the one remaining empty seat. Members of the CPARB must be from the community, which is defined as a resident of the Town of Bennington, Old Bennington or North Bennington or someone who works or has demonstrated a significant (8 hours per week or more) commitment to volunteerism in Bennington. 

Several goals inform their work, ranging from providing recommendations on training and community collaborations, to the review of anonymized data on complaints and compliments for the purpose of identifying issues. A key goal is providing a way for all voices in the community to be heard and promoting learning on community safety and equity issues. 

The CPARB meets the third Thursday of each month at 6 pm at in the third floor multi purpose room at the Bennington Fire Station on River Street. The meeting is open to the public and the CPARB strongly encourages the community to come and provide public comment. In addition, a comment form is available on their page on the Town website.
The CPARB held its first listening session on June 29, 2023 to hear from the community. A recording of that meeting is on their web page as well. Further outreach is planned for this year, with members of the CPARB reaching out to community members where they are. 
This includes going into different neighborhoods, and meeting with groups that represent different populations. The first of these community outreach meetings will be on May 8 at 5:00 pm at the Turning Point Center, located at 160 Benmont Avenue, 4th floor. The second will be at the Community Café on May 18 at 1:30 pm at GBICs, located on Depot Street. The third will be at Willowbrook on May 21 at 1 pm, and the fourth will be at Beech Court, May 29, at 4:00 pm.
If you have suggestions on additional locations and groups to reach out to, please share those ideas with the CPARB through their chair person  Kelly Carroll,

The public is encouraged to engage with the CPARB. This ongoing work by the community, the Bennington Police Department, the CPARB, and the Town in continuing to implement the goals of community policing are a key part of the ongoing process towards making our Town vision a reality. 

Would you be interested in serving on the CPARB? The deadline for sending a letter of interest to serve is May 15. We are looking for members who represent a wide range of interests and experiences and backgrounds. You can learn more details about the role by reading the resolution creating the CPARB.

You can mail your letter of interest to Stuart Hurd, Town of Bennington, P.O. Box 469, Bennington, VT 05201 or email