GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – After multiple police shootings of black men across the country, a Western Massachusetts town came together to build trust with its police department.
A community group in Greenfield is working to build a stronger relationship between the community and police.
Racial Justice Rising held a community conversation at First Congregation Church Saturday morning with the police chief and city’s mayor. Residents were able to hear from the police chief directly that they can trust them to protect the community.
Some residents were able to speak to the police chief about what changes they believe need to be made.
One resident said, “My son, growing up I don’t want him to have to face a lot of the things that we as adults have faced growing up. A lot of the racism and the police brutality, all of the things we face on a daily basis I don’t even want him to have to think about.”
Another told 22News”After multiple police involved shootings of black men across the country. The organization thought it was important to bring both the police chief and the community together in one room to have an open an honest conversation.”
“We want to be proactive about this, we don’t want an incident in Greenfield where we have to deal with things at a high emotion.”
The community conversation also aimed to make police aware of the fear that some black people have of police officers. The police chief shared with the community the amount of ongoing training police receive on topics such as profiling and racism.
“I’m working with the district attorney in the near future we’re setting up a train the trainers to do a more advanced version of the fair and impartial policing, with some of our officers, i plan to attend. That way we can bring it back to not only our officers but other area communities as well.”
Racial Justice Rising holds a weekly public vigil for racial justice on the Greenfield Town Common every Saturday from 9 to 10 a.m.