City of Cambridge Announces New Task Force to Examine the Future of Public Safety

City Manager Louis A. DePasquale today announced he has appointed a new Task Force to examine the future of public safety in Cambridge. “The City Manager’s Task Force to Examine the Future of Public Safety in Cambridge” will be co-chaired by Councilors E. Denise Simmons and Marc C. McGovern and consists of 14 members who live and/or work in the City. The group will seek to examine ways to reform community safety in Cambridge by mitigating police response to select calls for service, while enhancing community cohesion to include restorative processes. 

The following were named to the Public Safety Task Force:

Khalil Abdur-Rashid, Imam Dr.
Muslim Chaplain at Harvard University

Chandra Banks, Ed.M.
Cambridge resident and Conflict Mediator 
Cambridge Public Schools District

Loren Crowe
Cambridge resident and Management Consultant

Leo Gayne
Public Relations Officer, East Cambridge Savings Bank

Samuel M. Gebru
Director of Policy and Public Affairs
Black Economic Council of Massachusetts

Christina Giacobbe
Director of Emergency Communications and 911

Rev. Jaron S. Green
Senior Pastor, Union Baptist Church

Tina-Marie Johnson
Cambridge resident and Cambridge Youth Council Facilitator

Rev. Irene Monroe
Cambridge resident

Catherine Pemberton
Cambridge resident and Heath Care and Wellness Consultant and System Navigation Specialist

Christopher Schmidt
Cambridge resident

Rae Simpson, PhD
Cambridge resident and Mental Health Advocate

Queen-Cheyenne Wade
Black Response and Community For Us, By Us

Pastor Ellis Washington
St. Paul AME Church

“I want to thank each member of the task force for their willingness to play a pivotal role in helping shape the future of public safety in Cambridge,” said City Manager Louis DePasquale. “This work will impact generations to come and improve the overall quality of service our public safety agencies provide our community. I am grateful to Councilors Simmons and McGovern for agreeing to serve as co-chairs of the Task Force. I cannot think of two more passionate leaders to facilitate the Task Force’s proceedings.”

"I am very excited by the work of this task force, because as a City, Cambridge must continually be willing to explore how we keep our residents safe, and how we can build up greater trust and a sense of partnership between our public safety agencies and the public they serve," says Councilor E. Denise Simmons. "I know the members of this new task force are going to help us take some important steps in those endeavors."

"As a social worker for the past 25 years, I know the importance of clinical responses to people in crisis,” said Cambridge City Councilor Marc McGovern. “I'm honored to be co-chairing this task force that will work toward implementing such a program in Cambridge."

“My staff and I look forward to working closely with the City Manager and new Task Force on this important work,” said Police Commissioner Branville Bard, Jr. ““I have long been supportive of creating an alternate or non-police response for appropriate non-emergency situations, particularly those involving individuals experiencing mental illness, and this group is an important step in moving ahead in that direction.”

Members of the new Public Safety Task Force will meet virtually at least twice a month. The first meeting is scheduled to take place in January 2021.

Page was posted on 1/7/2021 2:45 PM
Page was last modified on 1/11/2021 10:37 AM
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