Scott promises public safety plan for Vt. lawmakers to consider

Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 3:48 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 20, 2023 at 6:35 PM EST
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - The governor is moving public safety to the front burner to deal with rising crime in Vermont. Gov. Phil Scott says he is building a public safety plan for state lawmakers to consider in January.

The state and its bigger cities and towns are facing upticks in gun violence and drug trafficking.

Places like Burlington have used the Vermont State Police for extra weekend patrols. But since October, state police have been stretched thin, dealing with several active homicide and death investigations.

The governor says his team is now putting together a package of proposals he describes as “bold.”

His announcement follows a community meeting in Rutland earlier this fall where Scott says he heard anger, frustration and fear.

The governor didn’t reveal any specifics about the plan at his weekly news briefing on Monday, but he said he is putting together a package of proposals.

“I think the pendulum has swung too far on some of our criminal justice reforms and we’ll be looking at at least bringing proposals for the Legislature to consider to get back to the middle,” said Scott, R-Vermont.

Last summer, the governor issued a 10-point public safety plan coordinating local, state and federal law enforcement to bolster the presence of police, and to ramp up policing, prevention and prosecution of violent crime statewide.

Scott says he will present the new plans sometime before the legislative session begins in January.