Randolph considering future of police, hands off duty to sheriff

RANDOLPH, Vt. (WCAX) With the recent departure of Randolph's police chief, along with three other officers, the town has handed over the bulk of daily coverage to the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

At a meeting last week, the town's selectboard approved a contract with the Sheriff's Department to provide 105 hours a week of policing services.

The selectboard looked into the possibility of having the Vermont State Police fill some of the coverage similar to a recent contract with Waterbury after the community disbanded their village police department. But state police officials told the selectboard the agreement in Waterbury is currently not ready for duplication.

Randolph's former chief, Daniel Brunelle, stepped down suddenly in May citing personal reasons. A domestic abuse investigation against him was recently dropped by the Washington County State's Attorney.

The town has been evaluating options including whether to hire a new chief or even get rid of the entire department.

A number of Vermont towns looking to cut public safety expenses have explored the idea of disbanding their police departments. Vermont lawmakers have also been looking at new public safety models and the role of the Vermont State Police when it comes to municipal coverage.