MERIDEN — A group of residents has organized an event this Sunday at the Meriden Green that they hope will help “heal the current divide” between law enforcement and citizens.
“The only way for the community to heal is to have an open dialogue between both sides of an issue, one that allows collaboration and understanding,” city resident Elain Cariati, one of the event organizers, wrote in an email.
“The idea originated based off of the need to create a common ground between officers and the citizens within the community. We are a part of this community, and will need to find a way to coexist peacefully,” she said.
The gathering will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. Cariati said it will allow community members to voice concerns and learn more about the police accountability bill recently signed into law by Gov. Ned Lamont.
“This entire event is to educate on the current legislation that has been passed and how it will impact the community,” Cariati wrote, “as well as attempting to develop unity in a divided community. This event is not about one side or the other, it is about how we move forward as a collective community in the hopes of repairing and bridging the current divide.”
Lead organizers include Cariati, Wilton Carraway Jr, Joseph Vollano, Justin Mitchell, Sean McDonald, and Devon Dzicek.
Cariati said organizers don’t know how many people will attend but are hoping for a “large peaceful gathering.” City officials said the city has not been directly involved with organizing the event at the public park.
“We of course, had to permit it,” City Manager Tim Coon wrote via email.
Police Chief Roberto Rosado said he plans to attend the event and said officers will also be in attendance. He hopes the event will help the community to “come together, unite, and listen to each other.”
“I understand there are people that have different views and stuff like that, and we just have to be respectful of everyone’s views,” Rosado said.
“... When we listen to each other, I think we’ll come up with some great solutions, mend a lot of relationships that need to be mended, and build on that,” he added.