Community Policing and Related Topics

The limitations of the traditional model of policing across our nation has highlighted the need for our community to develop new approaches to policing. The Town of Bennington, its police department, and Select Board, all support the philosophy of community policing and are working together with the community to develop a clearer picture of what that should look like in our town. The materials found in this Community Policing section provide background information, resources, and materials to support current community policing initiatives including review of critical Bennington Police Department policies and procedures and the charge and timeline for a task force to research and recommend a structure for a police safety and equity board.

Town Vision and Police Department Mission Statements – Adopted August 24, 2020

Public Review of Second Set of Procedures for Bennington Police Department Now Complete.

The public review of a second group of procedures for seven critical policies for the Bennington Police Department (BPD) is now closed. The procedures detail the specific methods to be used to implement the policies in the daily operations of the BPD.

The procedures address policies developed in the winter and spring of 2021 by community Policy Advisory Committees and subsequently adopted by the Bennington Select Board.  The policies and procedures are among those identified by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) in their 2020 assessment of the Bennington Police Department and include:

The formal three-week comment period on Police procedures began on Wednesday, October 27 at 8 AM and closed on Wednesday, November 17 at 5 PM.  

Following the public comment period, the BPD will review and incorporate comments, as appropriate.  Once the review of comments is complete, the final policies and procedures will be posted on the BPD website.


Safety and Equity Board Information
Please visit our Safety and Equity task force page.

Resources from Vermont Partnership
For Fairness and Diversity
Exploring Vision and Mission Community Gathering – August 5, 2020
Exploring Our Vision and Mission for Bennington – Meeting Announcement – August 5, 2020
Community Policing Update – Press Release July 21, 2020
Understanding Implicit Bias Staff Training – July 14, 15, 2020
Vermont Partnership for Fairness & Diversity Scope of Work Document
Vermont Partnership for Fairness & Diversity submits this Proposed Scope of Work for the Town of
Bennington including budget and illustrative timeline at the request of the Town Select Board. The
Select Board approved the request at its meeting on 25 May 2020.
Virtual Community Meeting Flyer

Resources from IACP
IACP Model Policies
Anti-Bias Resources
IACP Assessment of the Bennington Police Department Policy and Procedure Report
Please watch to hear and see their findings/suggestions. (Video Presentation is pre-recorded)

Resources from The Bennington Free Library
Community Policing entry includes Overview, Viewpoints, Academic Journals and more.
Provided by Gale Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, part of the Vermont Online Library.
Access is open to anyone in Vermont. Click “Use My Location” and then “Allow.”

Jonathan Clark, Vermont Dept. of Libraries Consultant for Children and Teens Services shared a crowdsourced document, “Booklists and Resources Addressing Race and Social Justice.” Booklists and Resources by age group, including Caregivers & Educators. This three-page document includes links and will continue to be updated.

Booklist Publications, part of the American Library Association shared “Reading for Change: Booklist-Recommended Antiracism Titles for All Ages”

REMEMBER: The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world! The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex!

Visit the homepage of each and note these timely offerings:

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture launched “Talking About Race”, a new online portal designed to help individuals, families, and communities talk about racism, racial identity and the way these forces shape every aspect of society, from the economy and politics to the broader American culture.

AND a Bonus Collaborative Offering!

Be reminded “there is hope in history” and of the power of images and books and more! Watch National Book Festival Presents: “Carla Hayden & Lonnie Bunch: Cultural Institutions at Times of Social Unrest”

Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress and Lonnie Bunch, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution discuss the future of their institutions and how they remain accessible and relevant during a period of global pandemic coupled with nationwide protests against injustice.

Resources from The John G. McCullough Free Library
For Adults and Teens:
The National Museum of African American History and the Smithsonian Institute’s Talking About Race
Black Lives Matter: Essential Readings for Adults and Teens from the Los Angeles Public Library
Understanding Structural Racism from the San Francisco Public Library
The New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center Black Liberation Reading List
An Antiracist Reading List by Ibram X. Kendi, as published in The New York Times
5 Books to Read About Race and the Police, a list by Joumana Khatib, as published in The New York Times
Resources to Teach the History of Policing in America That You Won’t Find in Textbooks, compiled by Valerie Strauss, as published in The Washington Post

For Parents and Educators:
Race, Racism and Revolution Reading List for Educators from the New York Public Library
Anti-Racism Books for Kids from The New York Times
School Library Journal’s Diversity & Cultural Literacy Toolkit
School Library Journal also provides many recommended reading lists on its website.
How to Explain Racism to Kids: the CNN/ Sesame Street Town Hall video

Resources from Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union
Student Resources , Parent Resources , Community Member Resources , Definitions and Videos