Londonderry survey tackles policing

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LONDONDERRY — A new survey on policing is looking for feedback as the town prepares to vote on whether to enter into a contract with the Vermont State Police.

"That will be coming up for vote at Town Meeting," Town Administrator Stephanie Thompson said. "We'll see if the residents support entering into the contract."

Londonderry's policing committee will give public presentations before then, on Feb. 9 at Town Candidates Night and again on Feb. 25. Both meetings will be held at the Twitchell Building starting at 7 p.m.

The committee recommended a weekly 25-hour patrolling by state police at an annual cost of $86,000 and issued a report noting numerous burglaries of homes and businesses in town and in nearby towns. Twelve unsolved arsons in the area were mentioned along with incidents involving drugs believed to be related to other crime.

In November, the Selectboard approved inclusion of an article on the Annual Town Meeting warning. The document needs to be finalized and approved by the board by Jan. 21.

This option was preferred over holding a special meeting earlier.

"The board determined with the holidays and the way things would fall, it made more sense and saved some expenses to do it at Town Meeting in March," said Thompson.

The public is being asked to fill out a survey on policing in town. The committee plans to use feedback to guide discussions at the February meetings. The survey can be accessed at thecollaborative.wufoo.com/forms/zczjnw9086t5q3 and will remain open until Jan. 3.

Participants are being asked how strongly they agree or disagree with statements such as policing will decrease response time for calls to the police; policing will reduce drug trafficking; policing will reduce drug related crimes such as theft, burglary and assault; policing will reduce arson; policing will reduce burglaries; policing will increase traffic safety in Londonderry as it pertains to speeding and impaired driving; policing will increase my feeling of safety in town; and policing will increase my involvement in community activities.

The survey asks participants to check off concerns: Is there a need for police in Londonderry? Will there be an increase in taxes? Will there be an increase in speeding tickets? Is 25 hours of patrol time enough? They can write in concerns, too.

The committee meets again Jan. 7 at 5:30 p.m. at the Twitchell Building. Their report can be found at londonderryvt.org.

Contact Chris Mays at cmays@reformer.com or 802-254-2311, ext. 273.


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