Police reform discussions held at Easthampton City Council public hearing | News

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The City Council pushed a vote on the Mayor’s reform ideas until October 20th, so more people from the community have an opportunity to speak out.







EASTHAMPTON, MA (WGGB/WSHM)–Easthampton City Council just wrapped up a public hearing into new police reform efforts for the city. The goal is to redistribute the police funds, eliminate racism, and better serve the city.

The City Council pushed a vote on the Mayor’s reform ideas until October 20th, so more people from the community have an opportunity to speak out. But councilors seemed excited about the path the city’s police department will be headed.

The Mayor’s pledge comes out of a community need to stop systemic racism and this needs to be community-led and community-driven.

The city of Easthampton focused on additional measures to help reform the city’s police department in a public hearing on Wednesday.

Mayor Nicole LaChapelle told Western Mass News she already drafted her own ideas of change and the city council is discussing their own to then reconvene for a vote in two weeks.

She said the process has taken a lot of time and research to figure out how to best serve the community at large.

“The City Council’s report that came out of public safety really got granular like this was comment they had from counselors this is comment they had from the public they talk to experts,” said Mayor LaChapelle.

Some of the possible measures include utilizing Westfield State University Department of Criminal Justice to help keep police data, adding trauma councilors, social workers and bi-lingual outreach workers to help respond to certain police calls and shrinking the police budget.

“I expect to see the police budget the number will be smaller the services will be the same and the data output will be more because we’re letting police in Easthampton Police and right now they’re doing a whole bunch of other stuff,” said Mayor LaChapelle.

Some city councilors are praising the work done so far.

“This is great I think this is fantastic and I appreciate the partnership with Westfield State for a variety of reasons.” said one City Councilor.

But Mayor LaChapelle said while this is a great start there’s still more that needs to be done.

“This is not about everyone being friends at the end this is about everyone in the community whichever one they want to be in and not feel like they’re bearing the burden of someone else’s hate racism or bias,” said Mayor LaChapelle.

We reached out to the police department for reaction, but are still waiting to hear back.





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