Burlington, VT — The City of Burlington is rolling out a plan aimed at crime prevention and protecting the public downtown this summer. With a busy summer on the horizon, the City of Burlington wants people who work and visit downtown to feel safe.

“Our downtown must be a place where everyone regardless of race or class feels safe and welcome to gather, connect, and reconnect, to eat and shop and enjoy all that our city has to offer,” Mayor Miro Weinberger said.

Last summer saw a number of gunfire incidents and other disturbances. The new plan will focus on the downtown core that includes Church Street and the surrounding areas.

“We are going to focus on that part of town where more than 50 percent of our calls for service are with what remains of our resources, which are fewer than 50 percent of historical norms,” Jon Murad, interim Burlington Police Chief said.

Two officers and two community service officers will be assigned to nearby areas when called.

“Around the marketplace, City Hall Park, Fletcher Free Library, North Winooski Ave, the downtown transit center and Elmwood Ave,” Murad said.

Additional public safety resources include beach and parks patrol, private security, and urban park rangers. There will be a lot of fun activities going on this summer.

“Parties twice a week with some of the best DJs in our land here to augment that fun,” Doreen Kraft, Executive Director of Burlington City Arts said.

Murad hopes that these types of events bring the right people into the downtown.

“If there are people in the downtown then there are people in the downtown, if we tell people to come and people come, that alone makes a place safer and more secure, and reinforces that safety in a circle,” Murad said.