Amherst Police Department to host community meeting; hire advocate for abuse victims

By Collegian News Staff

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The Amherst Police Department (APD) announced over the weekend that it will host a community meeting this Wednesday to address a spate of break-ins and issues related to student-town affairs.

The community meeting will take place Wednesday from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Immanuel Lutheran Church at 867 North Pleasant Street.

According to Oct. 13 release from Lieutenant Ronald Young, the meeting will concern “the increasing number of house breaks in North Amherst neighborhoods, as well as increased issues concerning students and neighborhood conflicts.”

The APD encourage residents to come together to discuss protecting property, as well as “student and neighborhood issues” and “initiatives to improve the quality of life for all residents” of Amherst.

For more information on the meeting, citizens can contact Officer William Laramee or Officer Yvonne Molin at 413-259-3000, or by email at [email protected] and [email protected]

In other police-related news, the APD announced last Thursday that it had received a grant of more than $170,000 from the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. The grant was obtained in partnership with the University of Massachusetts Police Department and the UMass Everywoman’s Center (EWC).

With the funds, the APD, UMPD and EWC will hire a full-time Civilian Advocate to aid victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. The advocate will be employed by the EWC and will be contracted by the APD and UMPD.

Last year, the APD responded to 164 domestic disturbance calls and 27 sexual assaults, according to the Oct. 14 release, while the UMPD took 27 domestic disturbance calls and responded to 13 sexual assaults. The EWC received 1032 hotline calls in fiscal year 2010, providing “crisis intervention” services to 257 new individuals.

APD Chief Scott Livingstone said of the grant that “having an advocate that has an office within our police departments who can immediately begin to work with survivors for support and resources is instrumental in these cases.”

Collegian News Staff