WATERBURY, Vt., August 17 – Flanked by law enforcement officials at the Vermont Department of Public Safety headquarters, Sen. Bernie Sanders today announced $500,000 in federal funding for Vermont law enforcement agencies.
“The brave men and women in law enforcement are on the front lines every day protecting our people and our communities,” Sanders said. “We are all grateful for the work that they do.”
Sanders secured the federal funds for programs providing police officers for public schools, technology upgrades for police training facilities, and digital cameras for county sheriffs. In addition, Sanders and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) secured funds for special investigations units.
“We thank Sen. Sanders as he has once again provided funding for several projects that will greatly benefit the Vermont criminal justice system, law enforcement training and professionalism, and will ultimately enhance public safety in Vermont,” said Vermont Department of Public Safety Commissioner Thomas Tremblay.
Also joining Sanders at the press conference were June Kelly, assistant director of the Vermont Police Academy, Lamoille County Sheriff Roger Marcoux, and Robert White, executive director of the Northwest Unit for Special Investigations.
The Vermont Department of State’s Attorneys and Sheriffs’ Association won a $100,000 grant for sheriffs across the state to upgrade equipment, such as squad-car camera systems that protect both police officers and crime suspects.
The Vermont Department of Public Safety received $100,000 for school resource officers. The special program places sworn officers in public schools and is an important outreach tool that helps deter crime. The officers promote positive attitudes toward law enforcement; prevent juvenile crime by making students aware of rules, authority, and justice; and instruct students on how to avoid becoming a crime victim.
The Vermont Police Academy in Pittsford received $200,000 for technology upgrades and laptop computers for students and seasoned officers.
Another $100,000 for the States Attorneys and Sheriffs Association will help fund Special Investigation Units, which are made up of specially-trained police officers, social workers, medical professionals, therapists, and prosecutors to investigate, advocate, treat and prosecute crimes of sexual violence and child sexual abuse. These multi-disciplinary task forces were originally formed in Chittenden, Franklin and Grand Isle counties. The latest round of funding will help expand the program throughout the state.