Community Safety Working Group presents final recommendations to Amherst Town Council

Hampshire County

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Amherst’s new Community Safety Working Group presented their final report to the town council Monday night.

The group is recommending six changes be made that include:

  • Creating a community responders program that will replace police on non-violent 911 calls
  • Reducing the size of the Amherst Police Department
  • Creating a resident oversight board that is authorized to hear complaints, access police and community responder records, and initiate policy
  • Creating a department of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Opening both a youth empowerment center and a cultural center

Brianna Owen, Co-Chair of the Community Safety Working Group, addressed the group’s recommendations during the meeting. She said, “These are things that we can implement today in the present to make sure that we are not a community that reacts, let’s be proactive so we are not the next place something like this happens, we are not the next place to go viral and Amherst is not that community.”

More information on the Community Safety Working Group’s proposed budget can be found on the Town of Amherst’s website.

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