It's a slogan in storefront windows all around Springfield. T-shirts have been printed and bracelets have been made. The message is straightforward: "Not in our town."
"As a community we have to respond and we have to be that change we want to make. We can't continually expect people to take care of us," said Wendi Germain of the Springfield Justice Center.
The community initiative started in response to a huge drug sweep in Springfield earlier this summer. According to law enforcement, an epidemic plagues this town. But citizens are standing up and saying they won't tolerate it. From community watches and telephone chains, to door-to-door house calls looking for volunteers, Germain is helping to organize it.
"We are not only going to the nice houses on the street, we are going to every single house on the street," she said.
They are asking residents for two hours a week to volunteer however they can, something as simple as planting flowers. There are positive signs-- the Odd Fellows building on Main Street has a new coat of paint, which local officials say, represents the future.
"Much of what we are doing is very positive and 'Not in our Town' represents an opportunity to tell ourselves, to tell our children how we feel about drugs and crime in our community," said Carol Lighthall of Springfield on the Move.
But recent drugs sweeps are evidence the problem persists and is likely not going away any time soon.
"The drug task force has been working on that for six to eight months, so it does take a while to get results. So, be patient because the result will come eventually," Springfield Police Chief Doug Johnston said.
But in the meantime, resident are sending a message of their own. And they are putting it out there for all to see.
"If you care about where you live, you are so much less likely to hurt the place you live," Germain said.
Hundreds turned out for a community forum on the initiative and another is being planned for this month. The premise is simple-- community members defining what will and will not be accepted in their town.
Thursday, December 12 2013 12:32 AM EST2013-12-12 05:32:39 GMT
Voting ends Thursday on a measure that could decide whether a major industrial wind project in the Northeast Kingdom moves forward. The Seneca Mountain project calls for 20 turbines on ridge lines inMore >>
Voting ends Thursday on a measure that could decide whether a major industrial wind project in the Northeast Kingdom moves forward.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 11:37 PM EST2013-12-12 04:37:09 GMT
Vermont State Police say they're looking for a thief who made off with 50 gallons of diesel fuel. Authorities say it happened Wednesday morning at a farm on Shoreham Depot Road in Shoreham. They say anMore >>
Vermont State Police say they're looking for a thief who made off with 50 gallons of diesel fuel.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 11:34 PM EST2013-12-12 04:34:11 GMT
Family and friends of victims Amanda Murphy and Jason Timmons -- gathered in Wilder Wednesday night for a candlelight vigil to mourn the loss of the recently engaged couple and their unborn child. MoreMore >>
Family and friends of victims Amanda Murphy and Jason Timmons -- gathered in Wilder Wednesday night for a candlelight vigil to mourn the loss of the recently engaged couple and their unborn child.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 5:19 PM EST2013-12-11 22:19:28 GMT
Police say they've caught the man wanted for three bank robberies in the Upper Valley. James Oberfeldt, 30, of Claremont, is currently jailed in Massachusetts on a drug charge. Police say he's been identifiedMore >>
Police say they've caught the man wanted for three bank robberies in the Upper Valley.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 6:54 PM EST2013-12-11 23:54:10 GMT
Two men are behind bars after a burglary in St. Albans. Police arrested James Perron, 27, of St. Albans, and Eric Walsh, 34, Tuesday for allegedly stealing a safe containing $15,000 in cash. It happenedMore >>
Two men are behind bars in connection with a burglary in St. Albans.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 7:53 PM EST2013-12-12 00:53:13 GMT
Two Plattsburgh State students are under arrest in connection with a brawl outside a fraternity house. It happened last month outside the Alpha Chi Rho (AXP) house on Brinkerhoff Street. Police say itMore >>
Authorities say allegations of a sexual assault in Plattsburgh led to a brawl. Now, some fraternity brothers are facing charges and more could be coming.More >>