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Cambridge Police Outreach in City's Most Vulnerable Communities

Cambridge Police Outreach in City's Most Vulnerable Communities

Cambridge, Mass., November 20, 2023 -- The Cambridge Police Department has a Family and Social Justice section that focuses on connecting with and directing resources to our most vulnerable populations. During the cold-weather months, this work is even more critical. FSJS builds relationships and trust all year to increase the chances our unhoused will consider assistance.


We spent time with Officer Thomas Watson who works in the FSJS. “Our goal in Cambridge is to track where these individuals are staying at night. One for their safety and to know where to direct our resources and make sure we have our partners in the city know where to go to offer them assistance, shelter, clean bedding, clean food, places to shower and food to eat and medical services,” said Watson.

The Cambridge Police Department’s approach grew from a recognition that police are often the first to interact with these individuals. Representatives from the Cambridge Multi-Service Center and other groups understood that police officers who, when interacting with these groups, took the time to openly communicate with them are much more effective in establishing parameters for acceptable behavior than officers who showed no interest in their situation. Officers who take the time to know the individual can establish a rapport that often leads to a referral for much needed health care services and mutual understanding of desired outcomes.

Page was posted on 11/27/2023 4:31 PM
Page was last modified on 12/19/2023 5:08 PM
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