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To the editor: I am a local person who has the opportunity to be close to people with many different views through my participation in the art community and my employment with the town of Montague (Mass.) Highway Department. I would like to try to bridge this divide in the opinion on safe policing.

Unarmed policing has been used effectively for decades. In an effort to understand that there can be changes in police rules that ultimately benefit everyone, just think of policemen on bicycles! No one reacted to that as if cars were being taken away from policemen. Obviously there would be situations where people in the police force need to use guns, but they certainly don't need them in every situation.

Vermont is not so unlike Norway or Scotland where these practices have served the public well, and so here there is a chance for police to set an example of openness and true peacekeeping here in the U.S. They are likely to gain the attention and admiration of the local community, and the rest of the world for doing so.

Sincerely,

Beverly Ketch

Montague, Mass., April 18