Barbara Burkart: Town misses opportunity on police funding

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

In holding to the status quo and maintaining level funding for the police force, Amherst missed a timely opportunity to address our community’s needs more effectively, and to demonstrate responsiveness to community desires. I have come to understand that police are often called to respond to issues that have little impact on public safety, and don’t actually require a police presence.

Crises caused by drug use or psychiatric instability are better addressed by crisis intervention and skilled mental health specialists. I’d much prefer see our tax money go to these approaches, and reduce both the size and arsenal of the police force.

Barbara Burkart