Montpelier, VT — Governor Phil Scott has issued a 10-point plan to address public safety enhancement and violence prevention. The plan revolves around reinforcing frontline law enforcement capacity and expanding on prosecution capacity to assist with the backlog of cases the courts are dealing with.
“Vermont is among the safest, healthiest states in the country, and that remains true today,” said Governor Scott. “But the fact is, a statewide workforce crisis, coupled with various social and public policy factors, have resulted in a spike in criminal activity and these trends are negatively impacting the public safety and welfare of the state. To address this, we need all our law enforcement organizations to work more closely together, get all our intelligence and data on the table, and face this head on.”
The framework involves:
- Prioritizing Vermont State Police mutual aid
- Special Teams troopers will coordinate with the ATF Task Force: Special teams troopers will be temporarily assigned to coordinate with federal partners, and municipal police departments as necessary, to help confront, stop and prosecute the surge in gun and drug related criminal activity.
- Better Align & Deploy State Law Enforcement Resources: Senior leaders will meet weekly to address operational needs and to identify specific and actionable ways to enhance statewide law enforcement operations and response.
- Augment the State Law Enforcement Workforce: The State will invite recently retired law enforcement officers to temporarily return to service to help confront public safety needs.
- Coordinate with the Attorney General to Facilitate Effective Allocation of Prosecutorial Resources: The Office of the Attorney General, in cooperation and collaboration with the Office of States Attorneys and Sheriffs, will assign prosecutors to focus on and facilitate prosecution of major crimes statewide, including all levels of violence associated with drug and human trafficking.
- Work with the Judiciary to Eliminate a Backlog of Cases
- Expand the role of the Fusion Center (Vermont Intelligence Center (VIC)): The VIC will become a statewide crime center to monitor and report, in real-time, on serious and violent crime for the most effective deployment of limited resources and to analyze crime data and trends for reporting to stakeholders, policymakers and the public.
- Apply Vermont’s Pandemic Response Model to Public Safety, Social Services & Mental Health: State agencies/departments with public safety, social service, substance abuse prevention and treatment, and mental health missions to meet at least weekly to identify and track hot spots, repeat offenders and others known to law enforcement and social service providers.
- Reconstitute the Violence Prevention Taskforce by Executive Order: The Violence Prevention Taskforce will be responsible for implementation of specific and measurable community violence prevention policies across state government, with an emphasis on preventing gun crimes in schools and in community settings.
- Appoint a Director of Violence Prevention: The Director will work to ensure the Violent Prevention Taskforce achieves real results. Another responsibility will be to work with the Agency of Education and school safety teams to expand the use of behavioral risk assessments in schools.