by James Redmond, Mail Staff Writer
Officer James Brown, Longmont Police Department liaison officer with the Longmont Community Justice Partnership, told Salida police officers Friday how they can work with restorative justice.
Brown was accompanied by members of local Full Circle Restorative Justice.
Started in 1996, Longmont’s restorative justice partnership has had a lot of success, Patty LaTaille, Full Circle Restorative Justice director, said.
LaTaille and Dunkly DeCrew, Full Circle vice president, met Brown while attending restorative justice training for Longmont police officers, she said.
“(Brown) is a great promoter of restorative justice,” LaTaille said. Restorative justice “is a form of alternative dispute resolution that promotes peaceful dialogue” and a cooperative restoration process, she said.
During the meeting Brown told Salida police how restorative justice works in and for his department, LaTaille said. For most of the meeting Brown answered questions from police officers.
The meeting “was very helpful,” Salida Police Chief Terry Clark said. While familiar with the idea of restorative justice, he said, “we didn’t know where we fit in best.” The meeting helped answer questions and give officers an idea of how it works elsewhere.
“It opened our eyes,” Clark said. About eight or nine Salida officers attended, and he said they left thinking about how restorative justice could help them.
LaTaille said Full Circle members also handed out information and resources about the criteria and methods for referring people to their restorative justice program.