The Yarmouth Town Council is working to set up a Police Services Advisory Committee with the goal of improving communication between police and residents, businesses and community stakeholders.

A seven-member Police Services Advisory Committee would “help foster a climate of transparency, collaboration, and accountability; and to advise the Yarmouth Police Department on policies to reflect the values of Yarmouth’s … community,” according to a statement from the Town Council.

Yarmouth Police Chief Dan Gallant is on board with the idea and has been working with councilors in drafting plans for the advisory committee.

“We want to give this committee the opportunity to have the success that I think everyone hopes for,” Gallant said at a council workshop earlier this month.

One of the goals of establishing a Police Services Advisory Committee is to give the community the opportunity to make suggestions about police department policies. Gallant said the community is able to weigh in on any policy, and the department may or may not be able to make alterations.

“The public might be able to show an avenue that wasn’t seen,” Gallant said.


Councilor Zoe Wolf emphasized that the committee’s primary role is to bridge the gap between community members and the police department.

“We’re really trying to think about how we engage community members with the police force to prevent anything from happening, but also to have that ongoing relationship,” Wolf said.

For example, the advisory committee could make suggestions to the department on how to engage youth in the community.

“With something like the way that we handle juveniles, there is some room in some areas,” Gallant said. “That can be a topic for discussion.”

A diverse membership and annual reauthorization for the committee should be required, councilors said.

The Town Council will meet again to discuss moving forward with the proposal, which is still in the drafting process.

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