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Town to contract with state police

GUILFORD—Citing “an opportunity for us to do a comparison” between the Windham County Sheriff’s Department and the Vermont State Police, the Guilford Selectboard decided by a close margin to contract with the latter as of July 1, 2016.

Board member Anne Rider made the motion at the December 14 regular selectboard meeting, where it narrowly passed in a 3-2 vote with no abstentions.

“I don’t think it locks us in forever,” she noted.

The board discussed the difference between the two law-enforcement providers, mentioning cost, familiarity with the town’s roads, coverage of different times of day, and the ability to cover “major crimes” as topics for consideration.

The Sheriff’s Department currently serves Guilford. Their contract, which ends June 30, 2016, provides the town with eight hours per month of patrolling.

Earlier this year, Sheriff Keith Clark suggested an increase in his department’s patrol hours to 12 per month. The cost to the town also increased earlier this year, and rates were slated to go up even further had the Selectboard chosen to keep the Sheriff’s Department on for Fiscal Year 2017.

The Vermont State Police’s contract with Guilford will provide eight hours per month of patrol time at a monthly cost not to exceed $6,360.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #338 (Wednesday, January 6, 2016). This story appeared on page C3.

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