Select Board Motion to Refer: Amendment to the Town's General By-Laws adding new Article 3.24 - Community Advisory Committee on Military and Surveillance Equipment

Petitioner: C. Scott Ananian, TMM 10

Annual Town Meeting, May 2018

The petitioner's intent is that this new Committee can take over the oversight role currently performed by the Critical Infrastructure Monitoring System (CIMS) Program Oversight Committee, while broadening its mission to include surveillance and militarization in general. Unlike the existing CIMS oversight committee, the Community Advisory Committee on Military and Surveillance Equipment can be forward-looking, anticipating upcoming technologies instead of only reacting to existing deployed technologies. Restrictions on majority membership are intended to ensure the committee has the independence necessary to perform proper oversight of Town police.

This warrant article is complementary to the main CCOPS+M warrant article, but has been separated so that it can promptly replace and continue the work of the CIMS Oversight Committee, and so the new committee can advise on revisions to the main CCOPS+M warrant article if that article is not immediately adopted. Much of the boilerplate for establishing a new town committee was adapted from the by-laws establishing the Town's Commission on Disability. As this new Committee will take a special interest in the effects that surveillance and military equipment will have on disadvantaged communities, it was felt that staff support from the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Relations (ODICR) was appropriate, tying in with the ODICR's recent work on Sanctuary.

The definitions section of this warrant article (3.24.2) is a subset of the definitions section of the CCOPS+M warrant article (4.10.13). If both are adopted at Town Meeting, it is expected an amendment motion will be proposed which replaces section 3.24.2 with a reference to 4.10.13.

Official Town Meeting Vote Select Board Advisory Board

Favorable Action

Favorable Action

No Action

Majority Vote



Final Result:

Favorable Action

Community Organization Recommendations
PAX Green Caucus
Official Text of the Article

RESOLVED: That the Select Board appoint a committee to study and report to it on the acquisition, deployment and use of surveillance equipment, and military equipment if any, by Town Departments and by the School Department, and on the policies, procedures and oversight regulating such acquisition, deployment and use and regulating the acquisition, retention, use and dissemination of surveillance data by Town Departments and the School Department. Further, that the Select Board consider including a representative of the CIMS Oversight Committee, the Commission for Diversity Inclusion & Community Relations, the Advisory Committee, Public Safety Departments of the Town, and members of the public and/or Town or School Departments with relevant technical expertise. The work product should include, but not be limited to, inventories of all surveillance equipment and military equipment and, after at least one public hearing, recommendations for any improvements and best practices to be adopted.…