Rutland plan tackles crime, quality of life - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Rutland plan tackles crime, quality of life

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Weeks after 17-year-old Carly Ferro was struck and killed in a Rutland car crash emotions are running high.

"It's a tragedy that we feel throughout the city you didn't even have to know this young woman for it to just bring you to the core," says Phelippa Hurley of Rutland.

Police say the driver who hit the teen in September had been huffing chemicals to get high and some in the car had criminal histories. It's a reality that has city leaders and citizens taking action, "We take the fact that we have an obligation to protect our citizens very seriously," said Rutland Police Chief James Baker.

Thursday Baker unveiled a new strategy to tackle crime and improve quality of life in Rutland. "What we're focusing on is continuing to do the enforcement, put a long-term strategy in place and academically validating the process we're putting into place," Baker said.

Key elements of the plan include tracking crimes and criminals by neighborhood, checking in on drivers with roadblocks around the city and boosting foot patrols.

"We're going to do the best that we can do with the resources we have to make our presence known and be a deterrent," explained Baker.

Undercover operations will continue and a new prosecutor from Attorney General Bill Sorrell's office will work out of the police department to expedite cases. Folks are also being encouraged to speak up if they see trouble.

"Without the community we cannot move forward and expect any success," said Rutland's Mayor, Christopher Louras, who was one of roughly 100 people who turned out for Thursday's community forum where the plan was discussed.

"I'm not saying we are going to prevent another tragedy but for us to ignore this issue that is so obvious is a disservice to all of you and your public safety," said Baker.

Chief Baker's plan was well received but he says results are what will matter.

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