Belmont Approves New Public Security Council Committee | Local News


To ensure policing and public safety policies match the needs of the community, Belmont City Council has established a Standing Committee of the Public Safety Council to assist with community engagement and education of the public.

“It’s just a good way for the community to know where to go when they have comments, concerns or want a little more information on things that revolve around our public safety,” the deputy said. Mayor Julia Mates, who will assume the presidency. of the Committee of the Public Security Council.

The new committee is responsible for transparent communication on public safety policies and procedures, helping to facilitate community input and considering policy issues related to policing and public safety in Belmont.

At the September 14 city council meeting, council member Davina Hurt said the new committee will help continue education, information sharing and community confidence building. She thanked the police department for working with her and Mates on police matters to ensure the best possible results for the public.

“When we talk about transparency, accountability and engagement, we think that’s the right way to do it, and it’s quite common in many cities to have a public safety committee to resolve different issues,” Hurt said.

Belmont began reviewing his policing practices and policies following the murder of George Floyd in 2020. Discussions about policing led Belmont to create the Public Safety Subcommittee which worked with the Police Department to identify the changes. Over the past year, the Public Safety Subcommittee, led by Hurt and Mates, has heard feedback from the community and led policy updates on bias-based policies and the use of strength. The city has also changed its policies for search, seizure and temporary custody of minors, including creating a Crisis Assessment, Response and Education Program, or CARE, to respond to appeals involving human crises. Mental Health. CARE has three agents with specialized mental health crisis training who follow up with victims and their families to provide support after a mental health crisis, including providing resources and feedback. The Belmont Community Police Academy, or BCPA, will offer courses, activities and tours with the police. The subcommittee also organized several community listening sessions to hear and discuss community issues.

The committee will have Mates as chair to ensure continuity, with a rotating board member selected each year to serve alongside it.

“This is going to be an important way for the community and the city to discuss things that come up to inform themselves regularly about the problems, and certainly for our police department, it is a way of informing the public and putting in implement some of the programs they plan to do and have done. It will be a forum for that, ”Mates said.

Board member Warren Lieberman thanked Hurt and Mates for their work on police policy changes over the past few months. He welcomed all board members, ensuring continuity and experience that will help the audience.

“I really like the idea that the vice-mayor is specifically assigned to the subcommittee. I think that makes sense, ”Lieberman said.

Mayor Charles Stone was excited about the city’s proactive approach to ensuring the police department provides the best possible service. He was delighted that the council and the police department were working with the public to produce good results.

“I want every member of the community to have the level of confidence I have in what I think is an exceptional police service,” Stone said.

The introduction of the ordinance was passed 5-0 at the September 14 council meeting.

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