Tag Archives: Worcester NAACP

Worcester Police Chief Sargent meets with Worcester NAACP

sargent-at-naacp1
Police Chief Sargent at the Worcester NAACP meeting. Photo by Bill Coleman

By Gordon Davis

In August 2016 Mayor Joseph Petty said there was no need for the Worcester City Council to have public hearings on Worcester Police policies, as Police Chief Steven Sargent was already meeting the public at crime watch meetings and other events.

One of these meetings was held last night, September 26, at the YWCA, when the NAACP hosted Police Chief Sargent. During the NAACP meeting there was some discussion about the crime watch meetings and other police events being hard to find. Even the chief couldn’t say exactly where on line we should look. Another problem with attending the crime watch meetings is that they are not necessarily public meetings.

There was a little dust up at the YWCA. A man claiming to be head of operations called the police when people holding signs for the NAACP meeting were told they could not hold the signs there. Chief Sargent came over and defused the situation.

The first thing we learned from our new police chief is that the Worcester City Council makes the decisions on the type of police policy. Chief Sargent said he could not respond on the issues of “Broken Windows” and “Stop and Frisk.” He said the policy for Worcester is “Community Policing.” There is evidence the so called arrest sweeps and quality of life” that at least a modified form of Broken Windows is a de facto policy.

The issue of body cameras on police officers was also raised. Police Chief Sargent said there were constitutional issues being reviewed by the city’s Legal Department. He gave no timeline on this issue, although the ACLU has established guidelines for the use of body cameras that the Boston police are using.

In regards to transparency, Police Chief Sargent said they are establishing a Civilian Academy where police procedures will be discussed. The Academy is expected to start February 2017.

The city’s Dirt Bike policy was clarified to some extent: A legal dirt bike on the street gets a citation and will likely be confiscated. The Chief said the bikes, if stolen, are returned to their owners and the stolen dirt-bike rider is arrested.

There was no clarification of when legal dirt bikes are confiscated from private property.

Affirmative Action was discussed, too. The Chief said more Latinos are accepting police positions than are African Americans. He said his department is working to ensure 25 percent of applicants are minorities.  
What he did not say was that almost all successful applicants are former military who have preferential treatment over other applicants. 

Some push back came over the issue of the school-to-jail pipeline and the use of uniformed police officers in the Worcester Public Schools. There are nine police officers assigned to the Worcester Public Schools. Seven officers are in our high schools and two officers are assigned to split-duty in our middle schools.

The push back came in the form of four teachers, two of whom are still teaching. One teacher asked about the drug screening that is going on at Burncoat Middle School. Chief Sargent said he was not aware of the program. The program was initiated by Governor Charlie Baker via the recent Opioid Bill passed last January.

Another teacher indicated there was an implicit racism in having uniformed police officers in our schools. The background to this is the inability to have an honest discussion of the police killings in places like Tulsa, Baltimore or Ferguson. 

On the surface there is cordiality, but the real issue of race and power is hidden away.   

I have to say Chief Sargent is personable, knowledgeable and seemingly long-winded. He told us stories of the “old days” when he was mentored by Loman Rutherford, a Black officer. I did not hear much from him that was exceptional.

Events and time will tell if Chief Sargent will make a difference, or will be restricted by the material conditions and facts of his job.

From the Worcester NAACP! TOMORROW night! Be there!

Session Seven of DEPT OF JUSTICE Community Dialogues on Race and Worcester 

Focus on: Review, Next Steps

U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz …

and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey …

… to participate in DCU session

The community will gather at 6 p.m. TOMORROW at the DCU Center

to discuss next steps …

U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Carmen Ortiz, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early, Jr., and Mayor Joseph M. Petty are scheduled to speak.

The session will run from 6-8 p.m., with dinner served at 5 p.m.

 Free child care will be available on-site.

Free parking will be offered at the city’s Major Taylor Garage, 30 Major Taylor Blvd.

BE THERE!

From the Worcester NAACP

The Worcester NAACP will not hold our Community/General Membership Meeting today, Monday, June 22.

This is to allow everyone the opportunity to participate in this week’s [Department of Justice] community dialogues concerning “Media and Online Social Networks.”

At Worcester Technical High School

Dialogue begins at 6 p.m.

As a reminder, a light meal will be served from 5 pm – 6 pm

Childcare services will be provided

Shuttle bus service will be available from the bus shelter on Belmont Street (located at the intersection with Skyline Dr.) to Worcester Technical High School between 5:15 pm and 6:15 pm and then back to the bus shelter from 8:15 pm to 9:15 pm.

From the Worcester NAACP …

City announces change of venues for remaining Community Dialogues on Race …

Free WRTA shuttle, free parking to be offered at new sites …

… a change of venues for the last three sessions of the seven-week Community Dialogues on Race series in response to participants’ requests for more space and better acoustics.

The remaining sessions:

Mondays, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.

A meal will be provided from 5 p.m.-6 p.m.

June 22   Media and Online Social Networks

Worcester Technical High School, 1 Skyline Drive

* Free WRTA shuttle from Belmont Street

* June 29 – Economic Development

Worcester Technical High School, 1 Skyline Drive

* Free WRTA shuttle from Belmont Street

July 13  Report back and next steps

at DCU Center showcase corner (intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. and Major Taylor Boulevards)

* Free parking available at the Major Taylor Parking Garage, 30 Major Taylor Boulevard

*******

On June 22 and June 29 the WRTA will provide a free shuttle bus from the bus stop shelter on Belmont Street (at the intersection of Skyline Drive) to the front entrance of the high school.

Riders can pick up the shuttle bus between 5:15 p.m. and 6:15 p.m.

The shuttle will return passengers to the Belmont Street shelter between 8:15 p.m. and 9:15 p.m.

The word “Shuttle” will appear on the banner on the front of the bus.

From the Worcester NAACP

YWCA

Salem Square, Worcester

The next Worcester NAACP meeting will be held TOMORROW, Thursday, May 28 – 6:30 pm …

… in the upstairs Boardroom of the YWCA, Salem Sq.

Grace Ross of the Mass Alliance Against Predatory Lending will be presenting an information session on “Illegal Foreclosures and Predatory Mortgages.”

If you or someone you know is in jeopardy of losing his/her home, or have been victimized by a predatory lendor, please come out and learn how you can fight back.

From Congressman Jim McGovern’s office …

Congressman Jim McGovern will co-host an immigration workshop with the Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA).

Tuesday, March 10

6 pm – 8 pm

St. Peter’s Parish Center

929 Main St.

Behind St. Peter’s Church

WELCOME REMARKS: Congressman Jim McGovern

TOPICS:

·         Information About President Barack Obama’s Executive Action

o   Deferred Action for Children Arrivals (DACA)

o   Deferred Action for Parents of U.S. Citizens & Legal permanent Residents (DAPA)

·         Eligibility for DAPA & DACA

·         Filing Requirements & guidelines for DAPA & DACA

·         The Impact of U.S. District Court Ruling in Texas on Immigration

·         Unauthorized Practice of Immigration Law

This is a FREE workshop and open to the public!

Doors open at 5:30 pm.

***************

STRIDE TOWARD FREEDOM: 50 MILES AND 50 YEARS

Congressman McGovern will co-host a
film viewing and panel discussion celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Selma …

with the Worcester Black Clergy Alliance and the Worcester NAACP

Wednesday, March 11

6 pm – 8 pm

Clark University

Jefferson Hall – Room 218

950 Main St.

Showing of the film Eyes on the Prize: The Freedom March from Selma to Montgomery 

Followed by a Panel Discussion:

·         Elder Esau Vance, Mount Olive Pentecostal

·         Patricia Yancey, President Worcester NAACP

·         Professor Thomas Doughton, College of Holy Cross

·         Stacey Luster, Human Resources Director, Worcester Public Schools

This event is FREE and open to the public!

The WPD and WFD at Worcester NAACP meeting this Thursday!

The Worcester NAACP’s membership/community meeting has been rescheduled for this Thursday, February 6 at 6:30 pm.

In the upstairs Board Room of the YWCA, Salem Square.

Officer Miguel Lopez, Affirmative Action Officer and Young Program Director for the Worcester Police Department, and Harold Rodriguez from the Worcester Fire Department will be sharing information regarding the upcoming civil service examination.

If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about a career in law enforcement or fire safety, please come to the meeting and get the information you need to make the first step.

Important deadlines to remember are:

Application Deadline:  March 13, 2015

Examination Date:  April 25, 2015

Please join us, meet the 2015 leadership team of the Worcester NAACP, and let us know what issues we should be addressing in Worcester.

Holiday celebration

From the Worcester NAACP …

Just a reminder that the Executive and General member meetings will not meet on their usual dates in December, but instead will be combined into one meeting / holiday celebration on …

Monday, December 15

6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

YWCA , One Salem Square

It is a pot-luck affair, and you are invited to bring a dish to share.

And if you are moved by the spirit of giving, you are also invited to bring new adult-sized simple gloves or mittens to be donated to the Worcester Fellowship, an ecumenical outdoor ministry.

For the sake of planning and organization, an RSVP would be greatly appreciated. Please respond to Doreen Oughton at dcomdiv@yahoo.com to let her know that you are coming, and if there is a food item you’d like to contribute.

The Branch has done some amazing work this year, and it deserves to celebrate and be celebrated. Hope to see you there.