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New Police and Community Together group in Groton City develops initial action items

Groton — The City of Groton’s newly formed Police and Community Together Committee met for the first time Thursday evening and developed a list of initial action items to pursue.

The City Council officially voted Monday to form the citizens advisory committee. The group will advise the mayor and council on police and community issues, help the police department with community outreach and “maximize the working relationship with the community and police department with input to improve the City of Groton operations as a whole,” according to the resolution.

The committee’s initial action items include determining traffic stop statistics for the city; evaluating strategic use of downtime for officers between calls; increasing interactions between the police and community through visits to houses of worship and community organizations, and building trust in communities of color, according to a list compiled by Jill Rusk, executive administrator in the city mayor’s office.

The committee also is interested in studying the feasibility of a community center with free programs; developing mentoring opportunities; finding ways to connect police, parents and children; and engaging the community in a survey to determine how the city can meet community needs and expectations, according to the list.

The city’s middle school students in the fall are slated to attend the new Groton Middle School in the town, rather than West Side STEM Magnet Middle School in the city. The committee plans to discuss how the department can continue the connection with the middle school students, since its youth police officer no longer will see them in their school.

The members plan to bring more ideas to the next committee meeting.

The committee will meet at 6 p.m. on the third Thursday of every month in the city’s municipal building auditorium. There currently are restrictions on the number of people who can attend a meeting during the pandemic. A Zoom meeting link will be included on the agenda, said city Mayor Keith Hedrick, who chairs the committee.

k.drelich@theday.com

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