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Rockland Council set to enter police oversight debate

Manager also to present 2021-2022 municipal budget
By Stephen Betts | May 02, 2021
Rockland Police Chief Chris Young spoke to a resident during an Aug. 10, 2020 rally in support of the department.

Rockland — The Rockland City Council will discuss Monday, May 3, the creation of a community police oversight committee.

City Manager Tom Luttrell will also present the City Council with the administrative team's proposed municipal budget for 2021-2022.

The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. May 3 via Zoom and can also be viewed on government access channel 1303 on Spectrum, and on rocklandmaine.gov.

The Council will review the proposed spending package until it finalizes the budget before July 1, when the new budget year begins.

The 2020-2021 budget is $13,713,282 budget.

In terms of police oversight, Mayor Ed Glaser, said a number of people have contacted him about serving on the committee, but he does not yet have a final list.

"I hope tomorrow night (May 3) the council will discuss the committee and what we hope it can achieve. I'd like us to have a series of maybe five questions that we'd like answers to, and a time frame for the committee to accomplish the work.

"I expect some of the questions may have to do with hiring practices, training, working with mental health services, maybe costs and asking if we have the right sized department for Rockland. I'm hoping the council will reach a consensus on a plan that we can vote on next month," Glaser said May 2.

A petition was filed with the Rockland City Council August 2020 by a group calling for reallocating money from police to social services. That petition gathered 135 local signatures.

In July 2020, petition organizer Angela McIntyre of Rockland said "defunding of police cannot happen without also investing in programs that create safety, security and well-being for our communities."

The petition called for an immediate budget increase freeze for law enforcement.

"This is not a demand to immediately eliminate the police department. But it is a commitment to work towards building a city and a budget where police will become obsolete," she said last August.

Supporters of the police department responded to the August petition by gathering over 300 signatures themselves from Rockland residents in support for law enforcement.

The Rockland Police Department budget for 2020-2021 was approved at $2,177,000.

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Comments (7)
Posted by: Crawford L Robinson | May 04, 2021 11:10

Interesting how a certain far right opinion has transformed from previously complaining repeatedly about a 'Bog Patrol/Porcupine Patrol' to our local police community is squeaky clean so none of this applies to us and this is just another Democrat hoax. Maybe somebody got out over their skis without realizing it?



Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | May 04, 2021 09:07

Having participated in Monday night's council meeting I was concerned by the tone of the remarks by several of those who commented.  Many I believe have been influenced by far left leaning main street media promoting the police unrest portrayed in many large American cities.  Our community and police department is  much different than others we so often hear about.  Don't believe we need "arm chair quarterbacks" to coach an already well run department.  Rockland is less like Milwaukie and more like Mayberry.  Let's not get in front of our ski's.



Posted by: Crawford L Robinson | May 03, 2021 20:55

Didn't take long for this to get politicized.



Posted by: Christine Clayton | May 03, 2021 14:06

The Mayor's daughter just wrote an article in the Free Press as one of their columnists titled "The Police Are the Problem, but Not the Only Problem"

by Becca Shaw Glaser...and now Mayor's Glaser is putting together a committee to oversee the Police Department? Seems like a direct conflict of interest to me.



Posted by: Francis Mazzeo, Jr. | May 03, 2021 10:16

I agree with Debra and Dale. Is this going to be another toothless committee filled with newcomers?



Posted by: Debra Damon | May 03, 2021 07:14

Really what do you expect to gain Angela by defunding the police department? Who is going to stop that person who is under the influence of Alcohol or Drugs, before something bad happens. Also think about the Drug dealing that goes on around this community. Who is going to intervene in Domestic assault, Drug Dealers coming into your community or the person who is stealing your vehicle, lawnmower, robbing your house? You must not be thinking clearly for sure.  Dale is correct without the Rockland Police department residents will see chaos. I hope the residents think twice before they think about defunding. I believe the Rockland Police Department works hard to bring safety to it's community.



Posted by: Dale L Dare | May 02, 2021 20:27

So when the police are obsolete, who is going to respond when you have a guy chasing kids around with a knife?? A social worker?? There are bad people in this world, people who don't want help, don't seek help, they just act out. I firmly stand behind our incredible police community. Without them, chaos would soon follow.



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