Organizing for Change

06 - Partnering with Law Enforcement

June 27, 2017

Goal: “to equip coalitions, organizations, and individuals to bring change to their community”

Host, Amanda Decker has a conversation with Chief Dave Martineau and Deputy Chief Jeffrey Bukunt from the Avon Police Department in Avon MA.

Welcome to Episode 006 of the Podcast: Partnering with Law Enforcement.

Guests: Chief Dave Martineau and Deputy Chief Jeffrey Bukunt from the Avon Police Department in Avon MA

Avon Police Department Website:

ACES (Avon Coalition for Every Student) Website:

Organizing for Change Website:

Organizing for Change Twitter: @organizing4chng


About this Episode: Building relationships are one of the keys to creating community level change. The Avon coalition (ACES) is located in Avon MA about 20 minutes south of Boston. In 2009, the Youth Risk and Behavior Survey data came back with the report that 47% of Avon High School youth were engaged in underage drinking. As a community Avon decided to mobilize to address this community problem with community solutions. The community formed the ACES coalition and created a strategic plan using data to address multiple issues. As a result of the hard work in the community, eight years later, underage drinking has been significantly reduced down to 18%.

One of the key partners in addressing this issue was and continues to be the Avon Police Department. You will hear in this episode the importance of building relationships both the police with the community (including youth) and the community with the police. As you listen in on our conversation, I hope it will inspire you and give you some ideas as to what change is possible when everyone works together for a common cause.


Key Points:

1. Use the facts when you talk to youth about drug use.

Youth can fact check whatever you tell them at a rapid pace. It is important to use accurate facts when speaking about underage drinking and drug use.

2. Police are an ally.

Chief Martineau talks about how sometimes parents will use the police as a scare tactic for their child. “Don’t do xyz or the police will “get” you. This reinforces in a child’s mind that the police are the “bad guys”. Police would rather see themselves as allies to parents. The Chief also talks about how they “can’t arrest their way out of the problem of substance abuse disorder”. Police want to help people get the help they need.

Dept. Chief Bukunt speaks about doing things in the community in a non enforcement manner to continue to build that positive view of the police from the community perspective.

3. Education has to begin early.

Teaching youth good decision making early, is key to educating youth about drugs and alcohol. (Many studies show waiting to speak to youth about drugs and alcohol till middle school is often too late.)


**What is carfentanil?


Next Episode: Subscribe now for free and you won’t miss episode 007