Town Discussion Boards Ask Residents to Share Responses About Public Safety

October 16, 2020

For Immediate Release

Contact: Shannon Barsotti, Community Development Director, Town of Bennington, 802-445-1330


Town Discussion Boards Ask Residents to Share Responses About Public Safety

Community Discussion boards around downtown Bennington and North Bennington ask residents to answer the question “What Makes You Feel Safe in Your Community?”. This question will be posted from October 15 to October 28. The first question posted on the discussion boards asked, “What do you expect of a police officer?” and the responses gathered over the last two weeks are posted on the town’s website on the Community Policing and Related Topics page:

The discussion boards are placed outside at Greater Bennington Interfaith Community Services Inc. (GBICS) on Depot Street, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church’s Prayer Hut at School and Pleasant streets, the Bennington Recreation Center on Gage Street, the town offices on South Street, and inside at Powers Market in North Bennington.

The discussion boards are meant to encourage ongoing conversation about community policing and the implementation of the newly established mission statement for the Bennington Police Department:

“The Bennington Police Department is accountable to the Community for providing everyone, regardless of identity, with respectful and equitable law enforcement, protection, and service. The Department and the Community will achieve this through collaborative and positive relationships which contribute to the betterment of our quality of life.”

The Select Board is encouraging members of the community to record their thoughts on the questions on sticky notes at each of the boards. The boards will be monitored daily, and any derogatory language will be removed.

Other community policing activities by the town have included community meetings, the adoption of a town vision statement; compilation of extensive bibliographies on community policing initiatives and civilian oversight; training sessions for town and police department leadership, and the establishment of six community policy advisory committees to review key policing policies in conjunction with the BPD.