Residents are being asked to provide community feedback during listening sessions of the Boston Police Reform Task Force starting July 22. The gathered input will be used to review the BPD's policies, practices, and to recommend reform measures. Residents are being asked to share their experiences on any of the four topics that are being covered:
The Body Worn Camera Program: Wednesday, July 22, 3-5 pm
Implicit bias training: Thursday, July 23, 3-5 pm
Strengthening Boston's existing police review board, known as the Co-op Board: Wednesday, July 29, 3-5 pm
Reviewing the use of force policies: Thursday, July 30, 3-5 pm
Testimony can also be submitted in any language either written or via the WebEx listening sessions. Written testimony can also be submitted before or after the listening sessions by emailing BPDTaskforce@boston.gov. You can also learn more information on how to participate at boston.gov/ending-racism. The Task Force will submit their initial recommendations by August 14, 2020.
Saying that Boston needs to be a leader in battling racism, Mayor Marty Walsh declared racism a public health crisis. He also announced that 20% or $12 million of the Boston Police Department's overtime budget will be reallocated as investments in equity and inclusion in the city. "In Boston, we embrace the opportunity this moment and this movement offers us," said Walsh on Friday. "We stand with our Black community and communities of color to lead the change toward a more just and equitable society. With these actions, we will increase equity in public safety and public health, and launch a conversation that can produce lasting, systemic change to eliminate all the ways that racism and inequality harm our residents."
During this public health emergency, many of us are feeling stressed and anxious. Days are uncertain and our routines have shifted. Many people are working remotely, or have lost their jobs. Students are learning online. Many of our favorite events have been canceled.
The city has created a Small Business Relief Fund to assist Boston's small businesses most directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund is specifically for for-profit entities with fewer than 35 employees, and that earns less than $1,500,000 in annual revenue. "We are committed to helping Boston's small businesses during this unprecedented time by providing strategic, accessible, and critical financial resources to help them stay afloat and pay employees," said Mayor Marty Walsh. "Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the lifeblood of our neighborhoods. As the response to COVID-19 continues to evolve, we want to make this resource as straightforward as possible for business owners and work one-on-one to ensure they have the most up-to-date information on financial assistance available."
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced tighter measures to follow to combat the spread of the Coronavirus that include closing city parks with recreational sports areas and advising all residents to wear masks in public. "I cannot stress enough that the actions we take now through the next several weeks will help curb the spread of this virus, and save lives," said Mayor Marty Walsh. "There is nothing that I won't do as mayor of the city of Boston to protect our residents, and at this very critical time, we must do everything we can as Bostonians to protect one another. This is bigger than any one person - this is about the greater good of our people. Stay safe, stay inside, and let's get through this together."