Town officials from Arlington, MA, commissioned an assessment from CBI as part of a multi-step response to a town conflict at the intersection of race, intolerance, and policing. An Arlington Police Lieutenant was placed on administrative leave last October after authoring hateful columns published in the Massachusetts Police Association (MPA) newsletter. The town decided to engage in a restorative justice process, after which the Lieutenant returned to work, amidst on-going community concerns.

The assessment involved a handful of small-group interviews with residents who had been identified as previously involved or highly concerned with the situation, to understand their perspectives on the process to date and suggestions for going forward. The final report offers a series of recommendations for how Arlington could come together to repair community trust and increase capacity to respond to such incidents in the future, including:

  • Providing an opportunity for residents to participate in the next steps of the restorative justice process with the Lieutenant
  • Collaboratively developing policies and institutional structures to proactively address issues of race and intolerance in the future

Read media responses to the situation assessment here. The full assessment can be read on the town’s website here.