Civilian task force designing oversight of Bennington police on track

Vermont

The old Bennington County Courthouse, pictured in September 2013, was constructed in 1872, used until 1936, and appears on the National Register of Historic Places. (Jimmy Emerson, DVM / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

BENNINGTON, Vt. (AP) — A citizen task force designing a future panel that will provide oversight of the Bennington Police Department is moving forward and hoping to present a report to town officials by January.

The task force’s role is to propose a permanent community safety and equity board that will have oversight of the police department. The Bennington Banner reports that after the report is submitted there will be a public comment period. The Bennington Select Board will then adopt a plan for the board to seat the panel next May.

The goal is to move Bennington toward achieving its vision of a welcoming community for everyone where all benefit from an outstanding quality of life, the newspaper reported.

“Everyone recognizes that we want to be a more welcoming and equitable community, and this is a step in that direction,” said Select Board Chair Jeannie Jenkins.

The 11-person panel’s work includes recommending police department training, reviewing complaints, and analyzing safety and equity data collected by the department.

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