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Safety & Equity Task Force
The Safety & Equity Task Force was created to research and develop a set of recommendations to inform the creation of a community safety and equity board. The final report (below) recommended the creation of a "Community Police Advisory Review Board."
Charge: The Safety and Equity Taskforce shall develop recommendations for the name, scope, structure, membership and responsibilities of a community safety and equity board. Areas of focus will include the following: 1. Recommendations on police department training and community collaboration efforts 2. Review of complaints against the BPD 3. Development and review of proposed critical Bennington Police Department policies and procedures 4. Analysis of safety and equity data.
The work of the Community Safety and Equity Board will be to ensure safety, accountability, transparency, and trust in the community and to move Bennington toward achieving its vision of becoming “a welcoming, engaged, inclusive, and resilient community where everyone, regardless of identity, shares in our vitality and benefits from an outstanding quality of life”.
The task force submitted the final report of recommendations to the Select Board on January 31, 2022. The report has been released to the public on February 7, and the public comment period was from February 7 to March 7, 2022. With input from comments, town lawyers, and staff, a final draft of the resolution was presented and approved at the April 11, 2022 Select Board meeting.
There was a presentation by the Safety and Equity Task Force to the Select Board and the public on February 21, 2022. The presentation was held at the Multi-Purpose room located on the third floor of the Firehouse at 130 River Street. The presentation began at 6:00 pm.
On March 14, 2022, at the Select Board meeting, the board will discuss the report and the results of the public comments. A board vote on the recommendations is expected at the following Select Board meeting on March 28, 2022.
We recognize and appreciate and value the work of the ten members who worked on the task force and we thank them for their time and effort in the service of our community.
Safety and Equity Task Force Final Report (CLICK HERE)
Prior Meeting Minutes, Agendas, and Materials
Minutes, Agendas, and materials from Prior meetings can be found by clicking here.
Task Force Members
- Clark Adams
- Ben Cassavaugh
- Co-Chair – Margae Diamond
- Co-Chair – April Dunham
- Gail Harbour
- Marsh Hudson-Knapp
- Secretary – Lynn Mazza
- Jim Vires
- Sarabeth Ward
- Lauren Wilcox
Brian Corr firstname.lastname@example.org
Cameron McEllhiney email@example.com
Town Manager – Stuart Hurd firstname.lastname@example.org
You may visit the Community Policing and related topics page for additional Community Policing information.
Some of the resources or files listed below may be scans of original documents. If you require a file that is readable by applications such as JAWS for the visually impaired, contact our Communications Coordinator.
National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement
- www.NACOLE.org Resources tab includes information on oversight models, reports and studies, and information.
- Presentation by NACOLE staff, Brian Corr, July 15, 2021.
- NACOLE Presentation to Bennington Select Board – July 15, 2021 (pdf)
- NACOLE Contract – Signed June 15, 2021
- Safety and Equity Proposal – Adopted June 14, 2021
- Civilian Oversight
Bibliographies on Community Policing and Oversight are located on the Community Policing and related topics page.
Resources from IACP
- IACP Model Policies
- Anti-Bias Resources
- IACP Assessment of the Bennington Police Department Policy and Procedure Report
- Video of findings/suggestions
- PRESS RELEASE: Update on IACP Report Recommendations
- Chart of IACP Recommendations and Actions Taken
- Guiding Principles / Tenets of the Bennington Police Force
- Article: “Most Public Engagement is Worse Than Worthless” by Ruben Anderson
- Internal Investigation Process for Police Department (Feb. 25, 2019)
- Vermont Title 20 – This is the statute that governs unprofessional conduct/internal investigations and the need to report to the Criminal Justice Council. It is the law upon which Bennington’s Internal Investigation Policy is based.
- Draft Ordinance (Lynn Mazza): “AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING AN INDEPENDENT CITIZEN’S OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE“
- Cedar Rapids, Iowa: https://www.cedar-rapids.org/local_government/city_boards_and_commissions/citizen_review_board_(crb).php
- Oak Park, Ill: https://www.oak-park.us/your-government/citizen-commissions/citizens-police-oversight-committee (general information) and https://www.oak-park.us/sites/default/files/Enabling_Language.pdf (ordinance — on p. 5 starting in the third paragraph)
- Pittsfield, Mass: https://www.cityofpittsfield.org/government/police_advisory_board.php (general info) and https://ecode360.com/15966453?highlight=police%20advisory&searchId=7266705410696081#15966453 (ordinance)
- St. Paul, Minn: https://www.stpaul.gov/departments/human-rights-equal-economic-opportunity/police-civilian-internal-affairs-review (general) and https://www.stpaul.gov/departments/human-rights-equal-economic-opportunity/police-civilian-internal-affairs-review-1 (ordinance, brochure and background)
- Ann Arbor, Mich: https://www.a2gov.org/departments/city-clerk/Boards-and-Commissions/Pages/Independent-Community-Police-Oversight-Commission.aspx (general information with links to ordinance and bylaws)
- Athens-Clarke County, GA — Police Advisory Task Force: https://www.accgov.com/9542/Police-Advisory-Task-Force (this is about their process)
- Arlington, VA — Police Practices Groups and new civilian oversight (this is about their process as well as their final recommendations): final report of the civilian oversight subcommittee –https://countyboard.arlingtonva.us/county-code/ (final ordinance: see the last chapter, Chapter 69)