Vernon, Vt. chief worried after police defund vote
VERNON, Vt. — The police chief of the Vermont town of Vernon says she’s worried for the town’s safety after voters approved a measure that would strip the department’s funding.
Voters at Town Meeting last week approved defunding the department as of July 1, leaving just $40,000 for the selectboard to sign a law-enforcement contract with the Windham County Sheriff’s Department or state police.
Budget cuts have been planned since the August announcement that Entergy would shut down the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant by the end of the year. Yankee accounts for about half of the town’s municipal tax base.
Chief Mary Beth Herbert tells the Brattleboro Reformer she believes residents have become accustomed to a much higher level of police service, responding to both criminal complaints and medical emergencies.