EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The City of Easthampton has released an updated version of its hate crimes policy.

A combined letter was sent to 22News from Mayor Nicole LaChapelle and Police Chief Robert Alberti explaining why the changes were implemented, specifically citing the rise in hate crimes. They also underscored the need for clear guidelines for law enforcement.

Back in October, a New England neo-Nazi group was putting white supremacist flyers in plastic baggies on people’s yards in Easthampton. City officials say the update includes a broader understanding of hate crimes, to ensure the city responds accordingly.

“This endeavor provides clear guidance to our officers while fostering a stronger connection with
the community,” says LaChapelle. “Although Easthampton is a place where hate should find no harbor, we acknowledge that we may not entirely prevent it from emerging within our borders. The public must be assured that the City is prepared to respond unequivocally and swiftly, reinforcing our commitment to combating hate and ensuring the safety and well-being of all residents.”

Police Chief Robert Alberti also remarked, “As the Chief of Police, I am unwavering in my commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of every resident. This revised policy reflects our dedication to fostering a community where everyone feels secure, regardless of background.”

Read the updated policy here:

Local News

WWLP-22News, an NBC affiliate, began broadcasting in March 1953 providing local news, network, syndicated, and local programming to western Massachusetts. Follow 22News on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.