Re: Police policies
From: Elizabeth Magill (
Date: Thu, 3 Jun 2021 06:19:57 -0700 (PDT)
We don't have policies on that, but we have a slightly similar
situation. (We are two coho communities on one property.)
In the northern community a dog bit a young person who lives in the
southern community. The bitten family called animal control.

The northern community (with the dog) reacted by saying "you must talk
to the family before calling".
Our community (with the bitten person) reacted by saying "you can call
if it feels appropriate".

I work with communities on conflict. Often there is conflict that
"that other person isn't following our policies."

I think it would help when developing policies to ask how you would
enforce it once it is in place. Also ask whether you really have
agreement from all people to follow it.

So taking a policy about calling police (or animal control, or any
outside the community resource)--would the person who has done that
follow such a policy? And if they did not, then what would the
community do about the fact that they didn't follow it? In my
experience, and in this case even in my dreaming of best case
scenarios, I can't imagine what would happen if someone didn't follow
the policy. What would be a logical consequence? Who would make that
consequence happen?

The only next step that I can imagine is to talk to the person about
them calling the police. Do you have someone from the community who
would come with you as you try to do that?

It sounds like a very frustrating situation and I'm sorry there isn't
a way to change other people's behaviors. I wish there was.

Mosaic Commons in Berlin, MA.

On Thu, Jun 3, 2021 at 7:34 AM Maggie McGovern via Cohousing-L
<cohousing-l [at]> wrote:
> Hi people. I’ve never posted to here so I’m not sure if I’m doing this right. 
> I’ll find out!
> I’m curious if any of you have policies/guidelines/agreements/rules around 
> people calling the police?
> I’ve had a neighbor call the police on me for something that was not breaking 
> any agreements and wasn’t brought to my attention by him (we do have 
> agreements to go to each other with complaints but he has chosen not to do 
> that). We don’t have any agreements around calling the police and for my and 
> other’s safety and peace of mind I would like that to exist. I was thinking 
> of having a discussion in our coho with those interested but I thought I’d 
> first see if other Coho’s have written agreements that I can bring as 
> options. When I think of writing something it is very hard for me to clearly, 
> concretely describe how it would look to use police when needed and not just 
> as a threat.
> I also know there are many views on this from people trusting the police as a 
> strategy for protection and conflict resolution to those who see using police 
> as a danger given historical and current violence and abuses of power and 
> then everything in between. Anyone tackled this?
> Thanks,
> Maggie
> Sent from my iPhone
> _________________________________________________________________
> Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at:

(The Rev. Dr.) Elizabeth Mae Magill
Pastor, Ashburnham Community Church
Minister to the Affiliates, Ecclesia Ministries

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.