Category Archives: Information

Will Bento in TV 25 story on police academy at FSU

Medfield resident William Bento is featured in the Boston25News.com story below.  Will is enrolled in the police academy at the Fitchburg State University, and is on a list to become an officer in the Medfield Police Department.  Look carefully and you can see the MPD patch on his shoulder in this news story.

The Medfield Bento’s are a police family, as Will’s sister, Michelle Manganello, is an officer in the MPD, serving as the town’s School Resource Officer, and Will father, David Bento, is a Lieutenant on the Sherborn Police Department.

will Bento

Local police recruits learning new lessons in era of reform

Local police recruits learning new lessons in era of reform

 

FITCHBURG, Mass. — Just as police departments across the state are experiencing reform right now, so are the police academies, where future officers are learning what it takes.

Boston 25 News has been closely following recruits for months, and spent the day at the Fitchburg State Police Academy, to see how educators there are dealing with the civil unrest head-on.

The recruits recently got candid lessons from current officers on protecting and serving the community, including Harvard, Massachusetts Police Chief Edward Denmark.

“There have been times where I’ve used force in my past and a lot of that was anger,” Chief Denmark told the recruits. “I got so wrapped up in what my task was in that moment, as opposed to what my purpose was in the bigger picture.”

 

The recruits are also dissecting mistakes officers around the country have made in hopes of avoiding similar situations. For example, recruits had to write a two-page essay on what the four officers did wrong in the George Floyd incident.

“When we spend 15 weeks here, you do what you’re told here when you’re told to do it and nothing more. I think it can be challenging to get out on the street and confront a veteran officer, but those are the skills that we are learning here to be able to step up and make those tough decisions,” Medfield Police recruit William Bento told Boston 25 News reporter Wale Aliyu.

 

Fitchburg State University Police Academy has a model of training and educating the recruits simultaneously, which they say is the first in the country.

“Research has shown that educated officers have less ‘use of force’ incidents, they have less deadly force incidents, they are better problem solvers,” academy director Lisa Lane McCarty said. “To their credit, this is not a great time to be going through a police academy. And they have these faces on that say ‘they will be the change,’” she added.

 

 

In the five-year program, the 21 recruits will get a criminal justice bachelors, a master’s degree, a police certification, and first-hand lessons on the ethics and nuances of policing.

 

“They need to understand the limitations of some of the things that we have tried or even some of the things people are suggesting now,” Chief Denmark said. “How is a certification going to change the way someone feels in their heart and their mind? It’s not going to. It may help to make sure we have the right education. But at two in the morning when a fight starts in the middle of the street that doesn’t matter.”

 

Four of the recruits already have jobs waiting for them. Benjamin Torrence will be joining the short-staffed Haverhill Police Department, and says as an officer of Color, he feels the pressure to bridge the gap.

 

“I do feel the pressure, but I know I’m not alone,” Torrence said. “I’m excited, my fellow recruits are excited, to get out on the street to make a difference.”

With calls to defund, and dismantle entire departments, these recruits know their goal is to provide change, one interaction at a time.

 

“We want to be able to change peoples’ perspective if they have a negative outlook on this job,” Bento said.

 

“This is all fear-driven,” said Chief Denmark. “This is cops fearing people which causes them to have heightened fear and feel they need to use force. And communities of color don’t trust the cops based on the history of this country. This goes far beyond policing so they’re afraid.”

SJC on racism

Seal of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
June 3, 2020
Dear Members of the Judiciary and the Bar:
The events of the last few months have reminded us of what African-Americans know all too well: that too often, by too many, black lives are not treated with the dignity and respect accorded to white lives. As judges and as lawyers, we are both saddened and angry at the confluence of recent events that have revealed how much more we need to do to create a just, fair, and peaceful society.
But we must do more than express our feelings of sadness and anger.
As judges, we must look afresh at what we are doing, or failing to do, to root out any conscious and unconscious bias in our courtrooms; to ensure that the justice provided to African-Americans is the same that is provided to white Americans; to create in our courtrooms, our corner of the world, a place where all are truly equal.
As lawyers, we must also look at what we are doing, or failing to do, to provide legal assistance to those who cannot afford it; to diminish the economic and environmental inequalities arising from race; and to ensure that our law offices not only hire attorneys of color but also truly welcome them into the legal community.
And as members of the legal community, we need to reexamine why, too often, our criminal justice system fails to treat African-Americans the same as white Americans, and recommit ourselves to the systemic change needed to make equality under the law an enduring reality for all. This must be a time not just of reflection but of action.
There is nothing easy about any of this. It will be uncomfortable: difficult conversations, challenging introspection, hard decisions. We must recognize and address our own biases, conscious and unconscious. We must recognize and condemn racism when we see it in our daily lives.
We must recognize and confront the inequity and injustice that is the legacy of slavery, of Jim Crow, and of the disproportionate incarceration of African-Americans, and challenge the untruths and unfair stereotypes about African-Americans that have been used to justify or rationalize their repression. And we must examine the underlying reasons why African-Americans have suffered disproportionately from the COVID-19 pandemic, both in terms of the number of deaths and the extent of economic hardship it has caused, and, where possible, address the causes of those disparities.
Perhaps most importantly, it is a time for solidarity and fellowship with African-American judges and attorneys, to acknowledge their pain, to hear about the conversations they now have with their children, and to stand together when others may try to divide us. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote from a Birmingham jail:
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
Sincerely,
Ralph D. Gants
Chief Justice
Frank M. Gaziano
Associate Justice
Kimberly S. Budd
Associate Justice
Scott L. Kafker
Associate Justice
Barbara A. Lenk
Associate Justice
David A. Lowy
Associate Justice
Elspeth B. Cypher
Associate Justice

MMA & NLC on institutional racism

Gus and I heard a presentation on institutional racism by Clarence E. Anthony, CEO and Executive Director of the National League of Cities in January 2020 at the Massachusetts Municipal Association annual meeting.  I recommend that one clicks on the this link https://youtu.be/ERnSi8s3Oyk, and listen to Tim Wise explain institutional racism in three minutes (starts at about 10:50).  The email below came today – 

MMA-2

Dear MMA Members,

 

We are sharing a special message from Clarence Anthony, the CEO and Executive Director of the National League of Cities, providing support for municipal leaders through the Race, Equity and Leadership (REAL) Program. This important initiative was highlighted at our Annual Meeting in January, and is more valuable than ever as a resource for cities and towns, here and across the nation.

Dear NLC Members,

 

I write to you today as the CEO of the National League of Cities, as your colleague, and as your friend.

 

As CEO, I want you to know that the National League of Cities is here to support you during this challenging time. As your colleague, I want you to know that I am acutely aware of the leadership demands you are facing right now. As your friend, I want you to know that I am tired of violence towards African Americans by members of law enforcement. I am tired of implicit and explicit racial biases that permeate our society. And I am tired of the inequities in healthcare, finances, education, housing, nutrition and other basic needs.

 

We have a crisis of humanity in this country, and we’re seeing this crisis reach its boiling point right now. The current situation in America is not just about the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police officers. This is about communities that have been left behind for hundreds of years.

 

This is about the communities that have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is about a lack of hope and a lack of agency that is felt throughout the Black community. In the words of civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer, “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired” – that is the feeling of many African Americans in our nation.

 

You ran for office and work in local government to make a difference in your community. Now, your residents are looking to you for answers, guidance and support.

 

You have a great power and a great responsibility that no one else in this nation has. You, as the person elected by your neighbors and community members, can make a real difference right now – and your residents are looking to you right now for leadership.

 

I challenge you to use the power of the pulpit to heal your community and chart a path forward that prioritizes equity and humanity. I challenge you to look to your colleagues in other cities for support and unity. I challenge you to educate yourself on the history of race in your own community and state, because it affects more than the African American communities, it affects all communities of color. And I challenge you to advance policies and programs that will make a difference in the lives of every person of color that rely on you to lead.

 

In 2014, the National League of Cities created our Race, Equity and Leadership department to strengthen local leaders’ knowledge and capacity to eliminate racial disparities and divisions and to build more equitable communities. It has been an honor to work with many of you over the past six years to advance this mission in your cities.

 

In the coming days and weeks, we are continuing this work and are working to provide you with the support you need. I encourage you to read and share the resources enclosed below. If you have any questions or feedback, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at real@nlc.org.

 

Things will get better. However it is up to us to ensure that we make it better by working together.

 

In solidarity,

 

 

 

 

 

Clarence E. Anthony

 

CEO and Executive Director

 

RACE, EQUITY AND LEADERSHIP RESOURCES

 

Responding to Racial Tension in Your City: A Municipal Action Guide

A guide that includes important contextual and tactical information to support your municipality’s efforts to respond effectively. LEARN MORE

 

Advancing Racial Equity in Your City: A Municipal Action Guide

Compiles six immediate steps for improving outcomes for all residents. LEARN MORE

 

Repository of City Racial Equity Policies and Decisions

Review examples of concrete policy and budgetary changes local elected officials have made to prioritize racial equity in their cities, towns, and villages. LEARN MORE

 

My Brother’s Keeper Landscape

City leaders respond the My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge by tackling the disparities that face our nation’s boys and young men of color (BYMoC). LEARN MORE

 

City Profiles

Learn how 12 cities and their elected leaders around the country are advancing racial equity in their communities. LEARN MORE

Dale Street School survey

From town web site –

Posted on: May 20, 2020

Dale Street School Project Seeks Community Input

Take Dale Street School Project Survey Opens in new window

The Dale Street School Project Building Committee is asking all Medfield residents for their input regarding the Dale Street School Building Project.  Renovating or replacing the existing 80 year old Dale Street School has been a strategic objective for the School District and Town for several years.

As a follow-up to the May 19 Community Forum, the School Building Committee is asking the community to provide additional feedback on the project by completing the Dale Street School Project Community Survey.  The survey is available to complete through May 27.  The School Building Committee is hoping for a strong response to the survey and is looking forward to your input.  The results of the survey will be shared with the community.  Please reach out to DaleStreetSchoolProject@gmail.com with any further questions.

Please take the following quick survey.  Thank you for your time!

 

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/J5SGTVD

MMA’s May 2020 Beacon

MMA

The Massachusetts Municipal Association provides huge amounts of information to municipalities, provides opportunities to share experiences, and publishes a monthly magazine, called the Beacon, which has become a digital document this month – read the May 2020 edition here  MMA_Beacon_May2020.

Town’s virus update -now at 3 confirmed

T

COVID-19

Town of Medfield Alert

Two additional cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Medfield.

UPDATE

View all updates
March 31, 2020 08:21 AM

Today, March 31, 2020, the Medfield Board of Health announced two new positive cases of COVID-19 in Medfield. There is now a total of three positive cases in… Read on

Click here to access our dedicated COVID-19 webpage.

March 11, 2020 01:15 PM

Coronavirus Information

Click here for more information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) Read on

Facts from MD on front line

covid-19 lecture

lecture about virus

Hear the facts from the MD deciding who gets the ventilators t large NYC hospital, that may make your dealing with the virus easier.  It is the best information I have heard to date.

https://vimeo.com/399733860

Virus confirmed in town

20200327-a;ert

Sign up to get your own alerts from the Town of Medfield here – http://www.town.medfield.net/AlertCenter.aspx

No confirmed COVID-19 cases in town

 

COVID-19

Town Administrator, Kristine Trierweiler, responded to a resident’s query this morning to report that “As of this am at 10:15 there are no confirmed cases.”

My guess would be that we have cases, but that they just have not been diagnosed or confirmed.

Town of Medfield’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update #4

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