Randolph voters reconsider scaled back police budget

Published: May. 16, 2023 at 3:43 PM EDT|Updated: May. 16, 2023 at 7:40 PM EDT
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RANDOLPH, Vt. (WCAX) - Randolph voters on Tuesday are revisiting a decision on whether to resurrect the community’s police force.

Village residents are deciding on a scaled-down budget proposal after a larger police budget was rejected on Town Meeting Day.

Randolph disbanded the police department in 2018 and has relied on the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and Vermont State Police. But the sheriff recently dropped the contract because of staffing problems, forcing the community to reconsider the need for a department.

The new budget -- which is a little over half a million dollars -- would pay for a chief, administrative staff, and a couple of part-time officers. If the town rejects the budget for a second time, the Vermont State Police will be the only coverage for the community.

“And they have stated that they are short staffed -- that their presence here will be limited and they can’t be relied upon for a local presence. A ‘no’ vote would mean we just have state police. The Orange County Sheriff’s no longer contracted to work here,” said Randolph Town Clerk Emery Mattheis.

Approximately 1,500 residents live in the police district. Town officials say they have already received more mail-in ballots this time around than the total votes cast on Town Meeting Day.

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