In the Town Manager’s report for June 6. at the June 6 town council meeting, Town Manager Paul Bockelman announced that he had hired Kat Newman to serve as operations assistant for the Community Responders for Equity, Safety, and Service (CRESS) program. Newman had previously designed and headed the town’s COVID Ambassadors program and currently serves as Community Safety Supervisor at Amherst College.
In addition, Bockelman said he has hired eight CRESS responders after an extensive interview and vetting process. Because some of the newly hired responders have responsibilities at their current workplaces, training will begin on July 5 for all. The training is expected to take eight weeks, and officials hope that the program will be up and running by the end of August. According to The Daily Hampshire Gazette, responders will be paid between $45,000 and $61,000 per year depending on experience level.
The CRESS program will be housed on the upper floor of the Bangs Center. A community forum about the program hosted by the Senior Center is scheduled for Tuesday, June 14 at 6 p.m. at the Bangs Center. At the forum, Police Chief Scott Livingstone and CRESS Director Earl Miller will discuss how their departments will differ and how they will collaborate in promoting safety and “working toward the greater goal of making Amherst a better place to live.”