Editorial: Bristol: Reimagining policing

As the national debate focuses—at least in part in this era of a Trump-induced crisis-per-minute—on its public police forces, it’s heartening to see the Bristol community rally around its police chief and be willing to think anew about how community policing might be reinvented. Without alleging any deficiencies, the Bristol community is well-aware that biases are inherent in each of us and that a different approach might yield improved results.

Having such an open-minded attitude is what helps communities discover innovative solutions.

The report of the meeting (page 1A in today’s paper) captures 60 residents involved in a two-hour meeting on the topic, including alternative models to further discuss. It’s an apt discussion for other communities throughout the county and state, all of which will no doubt tune in if and when Bristol develops enlightening new strategies.

The promise of such discussion was captured well by Bristol resident John Moyers: “We live in one of the safest sates in the United States… in one of the safest communities in Vermont. If we can’t reimagine policing, then nobody can… I think we have a tremendous opportunity to be a model and to think big… so that it’s not just about going after the bad guy, but that it’s really about public safety and service to the community, and binding the community together.”

Hopefully the discussion will continue.

Angelo Lynn

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