Updated: Jul 20
Successful partnerships rely on communication, humility and give and take.
Being a community partner involves much more than just saying that you are. Community partnerships involve two-way community, listening and active collaboration. As sheriff, community engagement is not only in the form of successful Community Corrections work with justice involved individuals at our Community Corrections Center, but it is also engagement with the larger community. It is nice to walk in parades and shake hands at important community events, but it’s the ongoing assistance and thought given to communities and the individuals in our care that makes a true partnership. When resources are available and a need is identified, a successful and caring partnership is one where both sides engage with one another in this need and develop a successful plan of action, implementation and reap the rewards of its communal success. To that end, the Hampshire Sheriff’s Office has a unique opportunity to be a link in the community between corrections involved individuals and constituents.
Work crews to assist small towns with municipal projects. Painting of town common spaces eg bandstands, gazebos, rec outbuildings; town cemetery mowing, brush cleanup on the side of streets,
Community engagement at events. Info booth staffing which acts for the facility by presenting employment recruitment teams, access to job applications and information on facility initiatives. It also serves the community by providing information on how to become a volunteer or community employment partner. All local and regional events should have a Hampshire Sheriff’s Office presence.
Use the current wood shop to assist communities in repairs and projects. The wood shop/cane shop presently serves an incredibly limited scope. Make use of the tools, oversight and labor to implement community service projects. A door needs rehanging, window trim replacing, adding a shelf to a town office or DPW location etc. Service to community and reciprocal partnerships should be a facility guiding force. The community receives the assistance it needs, individuals in our care express gratitude with service and learn value job skills in the process.
Expand the SALT/TRIAD offerings. There is presently no budget. Consider allocating funds for a limited budget. Program expansion by utilizing: TRIAD curriculum already nationally available, incorporate more staff from different backgrounds eg IT, medical, mental health. Expand offers to include classes on: how to protect seniors from online and telemarketing fraud and scams (involve triad officers and IT, Case Management), predatory lending and home improvement scams, ALICE/ADD training in senior centers/houses of worship, fingerprinting, wellness workshops, depression in the senior community (mental health), how to combat memory loss (medical).
Engage with local law enforcement to assist where we can as a regional arm of law enforcement and community safety. Provide breathalyzer testing services for arresting police departments so the Hampshire Sheriff’s Office Regional Lock Up facility becomes a one stop facility for local agencies. This gets police officers back in the towns they are hired to patrol and increases safety to detained individuals by decreasing transport time and expediting access to medical and mental health care at the Regional Lock Up. Access to equipment would involve administrative initiative and a phone call.
Successful partnerships rely on communication, humility and give and take. As Sheriff, it will be my job to be an active and engaged participant in many partnerships; as they serve the individuals in my care and employ, as they serve my facility and as they serve our community. It is my hope that this campaign and my administration will usher in a new phase of engagement across groups and platforms which will enhance all aspects of the community which I will serve.