Lisa Cain: Amherst needs citizen police oversight now

Thursday, August 04, 2022

If you have a complaint against a police officer in Amherst, you can file it with the police department. The Community Safety Working Group recommended a committee to be established to review complaints to create transparency into our police department.

The incident that happened with Black, Indigenous and people of color teenagers on July 4 will not have a formal citizen review because the committee has not been formed. Why is that? What are we waiting for? In addition, the Community Responders for Equity, Safety & Service, or CRESS, is ready to step in for situations such as noise complaints. Why weren’t they involved?

Amherst needs to stop talking and start doing the work of changing the culture of police work in this town. We have an enormous opportunity with the formation of CRESS to show how to keep everyone safe while respecting diversity. Stop the navel gazing and be the change.

Lisa Cain