We Want Your Input!

The “Community Safety Working Group” was created by the Amherst Town Council to 1) “make recommendations on alternative ways of providing public safety services to the community and  2) make recommendations on reforms to the current organizational and oversight structures of the Amherst Police Department.”

By design, the majority of our Working Group are BIPOC Amherst residents.  Our mission is “to ensure that racial and social justice are incorporated into our public safety services.”  Our full charge can be viewed here.   

We want your input!  We can only accomplish our mission if we hear from many members of the community.  We invite you to:

1.      Sign up for an opportunity to speak with us at a Zoom hearing or meeting Wednesday, January 13, 2021 from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm or on Saturday, January 16, 2021 from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm by contacting  our staff liaison, Jennifer Moyston at  moystonj@amherstma.gov or (413) 259-3002

2.      Give us your input in writing by completing the form below or by emailing your comments to Ms. Moyston.

Community Safety Working Group,
Paul Wiley, Chair
Brianna Owen, Vice-Chair
Tashina Bowman
Darius Cage
Debora Ferreira
Pat Ononibaku
Russ Vernon-Jones
Ellisha Walker



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* 1. Name (Preferred, but optional)

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* 2. Email Address (Preferred, but optional)

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* 3. I am a resident of Amherst

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* 4. Your racial/ethnic identity (optional)

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* 5. What experiences have you (or your relatives or friends) had with the Amherst Police Department?

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* 6. How were you treated in any interaction with the police including traffic or pedestrian stops, noise complaints, questioning, searches, arrests, etc.?

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* 7. Have you experienced or been made aware of situations in which white people and BIPOC were treated differently by the Amherst Police Department?

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* 8. If you are a BIPOC person, do you believe you or your family members or friends have been racially profiled or treated differently because of being BIPOC?

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* 9. Are you aware of incidents in which low income people, young people, or people of other marginalized identities, were treated differently from others?

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* 10. Do you personally know the names of some police officers in Amherst through your personal contact with them?

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* 11. What do you believe it will take to build trust and confidence among Black and Brown people in Amherst that they are being provided equal protection and treatment by the Amherst Police Department?

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* 12. What changes would you like to see or recommend about how community safety services are provided in Amherst?

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* 13. What, if any, situations currently being addressed by the police do you believe could be more effectively or appropriately dealt with through non-threatening, alternative public safety services?

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* 14. We are also interested in all of the above questions with regard to the Amherst Fire Department, EMTs, and/or Health Department. Do you have such information to offer us?

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* 15. Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

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