BENNINGTON — The town has begun to review six additional policies for the Bennington Police Department.
These, along with eight policies reviewed in the fall, represent critical policies recommended for review by the International Association of Chiefs of Police in an April 2020 report to the Select Board.
Twenty-two community members have volunteered to take part in assessing the six policies to be reviewed by mid-April.
Each Policy Advisory Committee includes three to four community members and three permanent members.
The three permanent members are Bennington Police Officer Dan Ferrara; Assistant Town Manager Dan Monks; and Select Board member Bruce Lee-Clark.
The community members on the six winter-spring policy reviews are:
Social Media – Peter Niles, Jackie Kelly, Shawn Pratt, Robert Ebert
Special Events – Lorna Cheriton, Hamilton Topping, Chris Bates
Body Worn Cameras – Jeff Reed, Mark Blank, Reed Goossen
Collaborative Partnerships – Charlie Gingo, Rachel Blumenthal, Marsh Hudson-Knapp, Angela Emerson.
Nepotism and Fraternization – Kara Lusa, Kate Canning, Lon McClintock, John Dyck
Code of Conduct – Lauren Wilcox, Beth Sausville, Peter Lawrence, Lynn Mazza
The current reviews are a continuation of work begun earlier this year. In the fall of 2020, 23 community members joined the three permanent advisory committee members to develop or update eight policies, including Use of Force, Duty to Intervene, Use of Conducted Electronic Weapons, Fair and Impartial Policing, Investigation of Hate Crimes and Reporting, Response to Persons Expressing a Mental Health Crisis, Motor Vehicle Stops, and Domestic Violence.
The fall policies are currently being discussed and adopted by the Select Board. The public is invited to participate through written comments or during the Select Board meetings.
Following adoption of the fall and spring policies, the Police Department will develop procedures for each of the policies. Resources on community policing, policy materials, and the schedule for the winter-spring policy working sessions are available on the town website at https://benningtonvt.org/community- policing/.