Last year, the Pittsfield City Council approved the creation of a Police Advisory and Review Board, and on Feb. 26 Mayor Linda Tyer presented a full slate of appointees for approval.

The citizens committee will review final investigative reports regarding complaints and make recommendations to the police chief and the mayor on policy issues. It will also provide a public forum where citizens can discuss and address police matters.

Mayor Tyer proposed the creation of the board after receiving feedback from the community. She said the committee would help to build trust and understanding, while providing opportunities for citizens to weigh in and for police to share information with the community to help them understand the complexities of investigations.

“We have an outstanding police department,” Tyer said. “The whole goal is to strengthen the relationship between police and community, and to be proactive about it.”

The board consists of 13 seats, with four to five seats reserved for the following: a member with law enforcement experience, a member from the Human Rights Commission, a member from the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and a member from the Berkshire Immigrant Center. The mayor said her office received strong interest from the public in serving on the board.

The board will spend its first couple of months on orientation and training.

“You can never underestimate the value of communication,” Tyer said. “The Police Department plays such a vital role not just in their basic job, but also with community engagement.”

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