Acts of violence, injustice, and police brutality against people of color are unacceptable in any community, including Falmouth. The recent death of George Floyd while in police custody has galvanized our community to look forward and inward.
In recent weeks, Falmouth citizens have begun asking important questions about the Falmouth Police Department focusing on use of force, police officer training, and officer accountability. The Falmouth Police Department has committed to thoroughly reviewing its policies and procedures with transparency and community input. Relevant Department policies have been posted on the Town’s website (here), to enhance transparency and provide important information for the public.
The Town of Falmouth will host a community discussion of these matters on Wednesday, July 8 at 7:00 PM virtually via Zoom. The public is invited to join the Town Council, Town Manager, and the Falmouth Police Department to discuss Falmouth Police Department training, internal policies, and current challenges. The link to join the meeting and phone instructions will be posted in advance of the discussion. A link to the event listing can be found here.
The discussion on July 8 will be an opportunity for the Police Department to describe current Department policies and for the public to ask questions and offer input about those policies and other general expectations of Falmouth Police Department law enforcement personnel. We also anticipate that the conversation could expand to other areas of public policy and services provided by the Town of Falmouth.
This will be the format of the July 8th Forum/Discussion:
1. Opening remarks by the Town Council Chair
2. Presentation from the Falmouth Police Department that will focus on the following topics.
Please note that the presentation will not be a “pitch” that the Town is doing everything perfectly or that no change is necessary. Rather, the Department will factually describe policies that are in place and share recent data about their application.
- Fundamental services offered by the Falmouth Police Department
- Policies that are in place that address officer training, racial bias, use of force, accountability, and general expectations of Falmouth Police Department law enforcement personnel
- Plans to review, amend and adjust polices/training to prepare for accreditation and to ensure policies/training serve the needs of our community
- Review of data associated with arrests, use of force and other points of public contact by the Falmouth Police Department. This part of the presentation will address how data collection and analysis could improve in the future to help us understand current practices and how to continue a path of growth that meets the needs of all people that live, work and visit in our community.
3. Public input, questions, and general discussion.
4. Next steps – We will talk about next steps that will be developed partly based on the discussion. There will be additional opportunities for public input at future forum/discussions.
5. Closing remarks by the Town Council Chair.