Chief of Police Scott P. Livingstone is pleased to announce the recent award to the Amherst Police Department of $92,164 in funding from the Edward J. Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program offered by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, Office of Grants and Research (OGR).
The Amherst Police Department requested this funding to promote community policing and problem oriented policing by implementing an Amherst Safe Neighborhood Liaison Police Officer to work in partnership with community members in the town of Amherst and our three institutions of higher learning, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Amherst College and Hampshire College. “While numerous factors led to the need for this position” said Chief Livingstone, “the recent expansion of student rental housing in what had been traditionally family and owner-occupied neighborhoods has caused issues and quality of life concerns. This officer will be effective in addressing these shared concerns within our neighborhoods. This position will also assist the Amherst Police in promoting our sector based policing philosophy by encouraging partnership development and problem solving.”
Stakeholders include not only the University of Massachusetts, Amherst College and Hampshire College, but also downtown businesses, Student Leadership at the 3 campuses, the Amherst Chamber of Commerce, the Business Improvement District, and Amherst property owners. The University of Massachusetts Office of External and Community Relations is slated by this coming academic year to hire a civilian Neighborhood Liaison staff member and it is envisioned that the Amherst Safe Neighborhood Police Officer and the UMASS Neighborhood Liaison will work closely together on projects of mutual concern.
The Amherst Police Department intends to have this position filled by an existing Amherst Police Officer by August 1, 2015. Upon reassigning an officer to this position, the grant funding will be used to pay the salary and benefits of a new hire for the 15 month grant cycle. Amherst Police are currently recruiting to hire a new police officer.
Questions regarding the grant or program can be forwarded to Captain Jennifer Gundersen at email@example.com.