Letter to the Editor: Chaplains speak to WPD allegations

Valerie Bailey, Sharif Rosen, and Seth Wax

As individuals who live and work in Williamstown, and especially as students and teachers of faith traditions that uphold the dignity of each person, we are appalled by the recent allegations of racial and sexual misconduct by the leadership of the Williamstown Police Department. Employment, and especially leadership, in any police force is an act of service to protect members of a community. Commission of and tolerance for acts of sexual misconduct, incidents of racial bias and antisemitism are completely antithetical to that. The WPD has a responsibility to serve the residents of Williamstown, including students. To learn that one of our community’s alums was allegedly present when an officer used a racial slur strikes us as especially problematic.

We join calls for an external investigation into the allegations and hope that this serves as an opportunity to ensure that all members of this community — regardless of race or ethnicity, gender identity or expression and religious background — will be equally served by our town’s police force.

The Rev. Valerie Bailey Fischer, Chaplain to the College

Imam Sharif Rosen, Muslim Chaplain to the College

Rabbi Seth Wax, Jewish Chaplain to the College