HOLYOKE, MASS. (WWLP) – A continued call for police reform across the nation. One local city is beginning to open the dialogue between the community and the police department.
Holyoke’s acting mayor announced a new Community Police Relations Board. The goal of this board is to create a line of communication between residents and police, which will hopefully create a better environment for everyone.
“I want us to work together,” said the city’s acting mayor. “I want us to listen to legitimate concerns and find a way to build bridges and build a community.”
Seven Holyoke residents and three police officers will make up an all-new Community Police Relations Board. The board will work directly with the mayor’s office. Acting Mayor Terry Murphy says this system aims to understand and address citizen’s concerns while also hearing police perspectives.
Murphy said, “I don’t want us one side or the other. I want us talking how do we listen to each other how do we get to the point where we can take those concerns how do we change them how do we change this practice.”
The board has no governing power over the police department and is just a way to collaborate together. There will be two meetings per month, which Mayor Murphy says will be open to the public. She added that the board will be finalized in the coming week with the first meeting taking place in mid-July.
Mayor murphy will be asking specific police officers to be a part of the board. All interested residents can apply through the Holyoke mayor’s office.