Safety & Equity Task Force

The Safety & Equity Task Force has been created to research and develop a set of recommendations to inform the creation of a Safety & Equity 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.

 


Public Presentation

There was a presentation by the Safety and Equity Task Force to the Select Board and the public on February 21. 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.

Presentation Materials
Powerpoint Presentation
VIDEO LINK (CLICK HERE)

On March 14, 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.

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.


Task Force Meetings

The task force has completed their regular scheduled meetings. The schedule for the rollout of their recommendations is as follows:

  • Jan 31, 2022 – Recommendations/Report sent to Chair and Vice Chair of select board
  • Feb 7, 2022 – Recommendations/Report released to the public and public comment period begins
  • Feb 21, 2022 – Special meeting to hear presentation by the Taskforce. Meeting will be held at the Firehouse on 130 River Street at 6:00 pm.
  • March 7, 2022 – Public comment period ends at 11:59 pm
  • March 14, 2022 – Board discussion of Recommendations/Report
  • March 28, 2022 – Board vote on Recommendations/Report

You may scroll down to view the materials from the last meeting, and to view all past meeting materials.


FINAL FILES

Safety and Equity Task Force Final Report (CLICK HERE)

Board Scope and Practice (CLICK HERE)
Board Composition (CLICK HERE)
Board Purpose (CLICK HERE)


MOST RECENT PAST MEETING:

NOTICE: A special meeting to discuss an addendum of topics/questions for the board was held on February 10, at 4:30 pm, at the Multi Purpose room on the third floor of the Firehouse located at 130 River Street.

Meeting Materials:
Agenda for 2/10/22
Draft Addendum; “Suggestions for CPARB”
VIDEO LINK to Meeting

Prior Meeting Minutes, Agendas, and Materials

Minutes, Agendas, and materials from Prior meetings can be found by clicking here.


Timeline

  • Week of September 20 – Taskforce established
  • September 28, 29, 30 – Criminal Justice Overview for Taskforce members (5 -7:30 pm)
  • October 7 – Taskforce orientation and organizational meeting with NACOLE over Zoom 5:30 -7:30 pm
  • January 30 – Deadline for Taskforce written report to Select Board
  • February – Recommendations presented at a Select Board meeting/public comment period begins
  • February/March – Public comment period on recommendations ends
  • March – Recommendations are taken up by board at regular Select Board meeting
  • May – Establishment of Safety and Equity Board

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

NACOLE Members
Brian Corr  bcorr@transformpolicing.com
Cameron McEllhiney mcellhiney@nacole.org

Town Staff
Town Manager –  Stuart Hurd shurd@benningtonvt.org


You may visit the Community Policing and related topics page for additional Community Policing information.


Resource Materials

National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement
Bibliographies on Community Policing and Oversight are located on the Community Policing and related topics page.
Additional Resources: