Community Engagement Committee
BACKGROUND: A report produced by the City Council-appointed Citizen Review Board Exploratory Committee (CRBEC) in January, 2022 and a report produced by the IACP (International Association of Chiefs of Police) are the catalyst for the creation of the Community Engagement Committee.
ESTABLISHMENT: The Community Engagement Committee will be established under the direction of the Vergennes City Council and managed by the City Manager.
To provide Community input to the City Manager and the Chief of Police regarding Community needs and concerns; To serve as a resource for the City Manager and Police Chief to assist in the formation of strategies for Community policing programs, increasing public awareness about public safety, and furthering engagement and transparency.
- Once the Committee is formed, establish bylaws and an amended and updated charge, and submit to the Vergennes City Council for approval.
- Participate in a public process to address Recommendations #5 and #6 of the IACP
- Recommendation #5: Develop mission and vision In collaboration with community stakeholders, VPD should develop statements that clearly articulate the mission and vision of the department. A mission statement would clearly define the intent and willingness to work with the community at all levels. Moreover, it would provide officers with a clear direction of the agency’s expectations.
- Recommendation #6: Implement a strategic plan for the Vergennes Police Department. A strategic plan with actionable items and scope of services should be developed for the police department. This should be developed through a strategic planning process that includes the department, city officials, and members of the community. The documentation should include areas the police department should patrol and attend community Recommendations # 5 and 6 of the IACP report i.e. bringing the community together to create a 1) mission /vision and 2) a strategic plan (i.e. hours of operation, etcEstablish a plan to remain engaged in providing review and advice to the City Manager and Chief of Police on the implementation of all 14 recommendations in the IACP report. Review and provide feedback on regularly provided reports concerning
- Number and types of citizen complaints and compliments received
- Calls for service
- Uniform Crime Reporting, Part 1 (Crimes Against Persons and Property Crime)
- Annual operating budget
3. Other issues and topics for discussion include those of contemporary challenges where a broad spectrum of viewpoints are represented.
Examples of topics include, but are not limited to
- Public safety issues affecting our community’s quality of life
- Community Policing Policies and Initiatives
- Racial equity issues
- Use of Force
- Mental Health Response
- Neighborhood Crime Prevention
- Criminal activity and trends
- Transparency in operation
AUTHORITY: The Committee acts solely in an advisory capacity. In its capacity as an advisory committee, the Committee is intended to be an expression of the community viewpoints.
COMPOSITION: The Committee is made up of up to nine members, appointed by the City Council, who represent a broad and diverse range of Community interests and experiences from business, education, non-profits, faith community, youth, etc. Members must be Vergennes residents or employed by a Vergennes business or organization. The Vergennes City Council and the NEPBA may advise members of the Committee regarding city policy, Vermont laws as they relate to governing and policing, and VPD policies and procedures.
Members are chosen for their demonstrated commitment to the Community and are appointed by the Council each March for one-year terms. They serve on a volunteer basis, receiving no compensation.COMMITTEE EXPECTATIONS:
- attend scheduled meetings and be prepared to engage in honest and productive
- interest in learning about law
- members who miss three regular Committee meetings in a year may be considered for
- treat fellow committee members with dignity and
- attend and participate in major police events, such as National Night-
- coordinate with city staff to schedule a ride-along with a Vergennes police officer and take a tour of the Police Department to familiarize themselves with department operations.
ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT: The City Manager and City Hall staff provide all administrative support to the Community Engagement Committee. The position of Chair, meeting specifics and rules of governance will be established by the Community Engagement Committee. A member of the Committee serves as secretary. Meetings are publicly warned and minutes are posted on the city’s website.
COMMITTEE MEMBERS appointed by the City Council on 9/26/23 and serving through March, 2024.