Community group's request for public safety proposals released

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BRATTLEBORO — With a public safety review process to begin locally after nationwide protests over racial inequities and police brutality, community members have submitted a request for proposals they want the town to issue.

"The review will examine (but is not limited to): the Brattleboro Police Department, Town support for non-profit organizations, social service agencies, and other community resources, as well as identifying currently unmet community needs," the proposed RFP reads. " This open process will invite in the wealth of knowledge and life experiences that our community holds about police, social services, racism, oppression, and alternatives to punishment and violence. We are working toward a community that is free of white supremacy in all of its manifestations."

The plan calls for one or more paid facilitators to design "a community-focused process to conduct this study and provide recommendations on policies, organizational structures, redistribution of resources, and/or further studies needed based on gathered input."

The Select Board is hosting a special meeting to consider the document at 6 p.m. Thursday via Zoom. The document can be found under the Select Board section on brattleboro.org as can others reviewed by the board during July 7 and 21 meetings when the project was discussed.

According to the proposed RFP, the assessment and recommendations would be due by November. Those who are submitting proposals are asked to include stipends for participating community members who are "heavily-impacted by police, policing, and involuntary hospitalization."

"Looking forward to a careful review and getting good feedback from many citizens this Thursday," Select Board Chairman Tim Wessel said in an email response to the Reformer.

Reach staff writer Chris Mays at cmays@reformer.com and at @CMaysBR on Twitter.

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