Amherst Police Department, 111 Main Street
The Amherst Police Department was recently awarded a $33,615 state grant for the next two years by the Department of Mental Health to train officers in a "team approach" for dealing with behavior health problems rather than the standard cycle of arrest, District Court hearing, release, back on the streets. Repeat.
Chief Livingstone was "pretty excited about receiving the grant". According to the Chief, "This team approach model has had successes in many other police agencies across the country. This is a nationwide problem that cannot be solved by police and court systems alone."
Department wide training will begin in June and after officers have been selected to form a "Crisis Intervention Team" they will receive additional higher level training.
Downtown businesses have been complaining for the past few years about the increasing number of homeless in the downtown, some of them under the influence of drugs or alcohol, getting out of control.
Downtown will also see addition police presence during business hours if the Town Manger's FY16 budget is approved by Town Meeting this spring. After years of calling for increased police staffing the Town Manager, finally, added one sworn officer to his budget proposal.