The Police Department on Wednesday listened to input from residents about how it can do more to reach out to people of color at a time when violent, racist actions by police in other parts of the country dominate the national conversation.
The officers are highly visible in their neon yellow shirts and being on bikes offers a friendlier opportunity to relate to children and residents. Plus, Beverly said, being on a bicycle lets officers see and hear things they wouldn't normally see and hear in a cruiser.
The new police outreach center on Columbus Avenue is now open.
The center or substation dubbed the Community Outreach Post (COP), is aimed to bring the police more closely in line with the community in the west side neighborhoods.
Following a homicide in the fall, residents of the westside came together calling for more to be done for public safety.
One of those ideas was to open a police substation in the neighborhood. To help answer questions of funding it, Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Carolyn Valli offered space in their Columbus Avenue building for it. Now, three months later, they're looking for volunteers to staff it.