Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Summary of Comments


††††††††††† Comments from Small Group Discussion

††††††††††† Participantsí responses to questions posed by the Selectboard:


  1. Are the existing services of the police department meeting the communityís needs?

    Itís difficult to know whatís the ďrightĒ level of policing.

    Not enough police visibility

    Stress on officers

    Current level of coverage seems appropriate

    Want more night coverage

    Concern re cost of expanding services

    Donít want to go back to relying on the State Police

    Miss seeing local police on private roads

    We should work to minimize officer turnover by creating good working conditions: we get back what we put in

    Comfort in seeing police; nice presence

    I feel safe; donít need to be personally aware of police presence

    Not enough services to prevent burglaries and drug crimes

    Stagger shifts to cover more night hours.Donít make info re hours not covered available to the public.Itís common knowledge that the police are off duty after 11:00 PM

    Donít spread existing staff too thin.

    Coordination between police, fire and highway crew is great.Keep this!

    Need info as to whether weíre better off because we have local service.How do we compare to Charlotte?

    I appreciate the police and what they do


  1. Are there additional services that are important for our community?

    Increase police presence and visibility

    Faster response for health emergencies (majority of officers are EMT certified)

    More traffic control, especially for rush hour and on 4th of July; use the radar machine

    Additional staff and hours

    Some night coverage

    Increased officer training

    Listen to what officers need: cooperation between officers and comp time

    Provide police w/ the hours they need to provide services

    Drug services

    Remedial officer at CVU

    Need positive attitude about youth

    Increase presence in schools

    Emergency Preparedness Plan

    More night time policing

    Explore ways to increase office efficiencyóe.g. computer speed

    Preventive and proactive presence in more rural areasómore officers to conduct random drive-thrus

    Neighborhood Watch

    With more sidewalks, more patrols will be needed

    45 minute response time for State Police isnít adequate

    We need more self-policing

    Provide info re what the department does that doesnít show up on the incident reports (lock out assistance, house checks, school programs, EMS calls, info calls)

    Want to know more about what businesses think about going after bad checks.Is this a priority?


  1. Are there services that can be eliminated?

    Speeding tickets

    Canine training

    Let the department set its priorities

    Are lock out services needed?

    Keep NOT doing animal control

    Consider not checking vacant homes, or charging a fee for this service, or getting neighbors to check

    Consider using volunteers or others for EMS calls and other ďnon-policeĒ services

    Still good for officers to have EMS training

    Police are ready and able to respond to EMS calls

    Ask Chris to develop a list of non-police services the department provides

    Eliminate assistance to other towns

    Would be helpful to have info re a typical officerís day.

    Emulate Shelburne and Williston and publish police logs in the paper.


  1. Is the ďcommunity policingĒ philosophy important for our community?

    Works!Itís terrific!

    Community connection important: e-mail system, caring attitude

    Small town atmosphere important for children; children are more comfortable with community officers

    Community officers are ďin touchĒ and accessible to the people

    Community involvement to help officers

    Work with other police forces

    Like that we are helping other communities

    I donít want the police to be buddies, I wan them there with a badge and a gun; I donít know about the ďTeddy BearĒ part.

    Police treating people with respect and courtesy is super important

    Not good that I didnít respect the police growing up.

    Authority of police is important, and is diminished by community policing

    Police for traditional police services.

    I like the e-mails to look out for certain cars

  1. The Police Department is proposing an increase in staffing of 1.7 officers.This increase would represent an increase in the budget of approximately $105,000 (approximately $45 increase in the tax bill for a $200,000 property).Do you support this level of increase?


††††††††††† Yes: 23

††††††††††† No:7

Please note that not all groups voted.The numbers above are a tally of those participants who clearly indicated that they supported or opposed this proposal.



    Where does it end?

    More info needed re how the department would use the money, and what services arenít currently offered, and the consequences

    Maximize value for $ invested

    Support the department and itís normal rate of increase; we donít have professional expertise; we elect and hire people to make these decisions.

    Key indicator:weíre loosing officers

    Support salary increases Ėlongevity is critical to community policing; we donít want to be a training ground for officers.

    1 Ė 2% increase is a no-brainer.Letís do it.

    Young and old people may find this a hardship

    The Chief was making a leap w/ the cigarettes!

    Take an ax to the other part of the pie

    Donít increase the police budget at the expense of education

    Would support an increase after this meeting, but NOT this coming one.Support reasonable increase this time w/ good explanation.Grow by small increments.

    Should have a police commission or board to review police department

    Intermediary growth between status quo and 1.7 officers?

    Seek monetary contribution from Chittenden South School District?

    Additional officers and salary increases are important

    Iíve changed my mind because of this discussion

    Theyíre being worked to death

    Iíd rather pay officers more than hire more people; value of high performance and skilled officers

    Clarify what we would get for $105,000.

    Concerned re prospect of new police building in the future

    Doing #5 and 6 in one year is too much



  1. The police department currently provides 16-hours of coverage, with the Vermont State Police providing essential police services for the remaining 8 hours.To provide 24-hour coverage by our local police department would represent an increase in the budget of approximately $385,000 (approximately $166 increase in the tax bill for a $200,000 property).Do you support this level of increase?


††††††††††† Yes: 0

††††††††††† No: 9

Please note that not all groups voted.The numbers above are a tally of those participants who clearly indicated that they supported or opposed this proposal.



    Not sure we can afford it

    Donít support unless something else is cut

    A VERY significant increase; like the current mix of local and State Police coverage

    Need more coverage than we have now

    What are the most important hours to cover?

    Discuss other options

    12:00 to 3:00 AM coverage not needed

    Need overlapping shifts for officer support and communication

    Keep coverage unpredictable, so criminals donít know schedule

    Make 24 coverage a long-term goal, but donít go to it now

    Donít want to lose State Police coverage at night

    Want info from State Police re number of calls they receive from Hinesburg 11:00 PM to 7:00 AM

    24 hour coverage is worthwhile, if it can be accomplished w/o a tax increase

    Salary increases and comp time pay are more important than 24 hour coverage

    Explore on call options


Comments by Speakers Who Addressed the Full Group

    Is a regional approach in which several towns share resources a possibility?

    Doug did a great job, but we need more info

    Not much time between now and Town Meeting to figure this out

    One can get complacent living in a rural area; when you need a police officer, you donít want to have to wait.25 minutes is too long to wait for a response from out of town

    1 Ė 2% budget increase is worth it to have a fully-staffed department.

    Is there any way to compensate Chris when heís called out at night?

    What other options are there other than having an officer on duty 24/7?