by Andrew Martin
The three towns that contract with the Lamoille County Sheriff’s Department (LCSD) for police coverage are continuing to meet with Sheriff Roger Marcoux and to discuss exactly what they want out of their police coverage. The selectboards from the three towns of Wolcott, Johnson, and Hyde Park met for the second time this fall on Thursday, November 1 to discuss the proposed budget change for the LCSD as well as their own desires for coverage. The meeting occurred at the Wolcott Municipal Offices and also included the special committee that the three towns have appointed to engage in an ongoing dialogue with the Sheriff Marcoux and his department.
“We just wanted to get together to see how the three member towns are feeling and what specific needs each town wants to have addressed by the department,” explained Wolcott Selectboard Chair Belinda Clegg.
“For the first time since I’ve been here we have a budget committee that will allow us to start the process of creating a budget a lot earlier,” explained Sheriff Marcoux, “We are now also able to get feedback from the towns while they also communicate with each other.”
The meeting in Wolcott was the second held this fall. At the first meeting, which was held in early October, members of the special committee from the three towns met with Sheriff Marcoux and his deputies to ask several questions that the boards had. Among the questions was a request for line item details on the Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 proposed budget for the LCSD. The questions also requested the department focus on desired aspects in certain towns if possible, such as more foot patrol in Johnson. Other questions had to do with how the LCSD could better address each community’s needs as well as what effect the addition of a detective to the department would have on the budget and services being offered.
According to Clegg the November meeting consisted of more of the committee and three selectboards addressing their own concerns or needs. Along with the desire in Johnson for more foot patrol other needs mentioned included the wish for more ordinance enforcement in Hyde Park and more road patrol in Wolcott.
Moving forward, the selectboards in Wolcott, Johnson, and Hyde Park will be meeting with Sheriff Marcoux and his staff on Thursday, December 6 at the LCSD Conference Room in order to discuss the FY 2014 proposed budget for the department.
“These meetings are going to be a very useful tool in starting the process earlier and knowing what everyone wants,” stated Sheriff Marcoux, “Not only can the towns voice their concerns and wants but my department can as well.”
An example of this dialogue that the department and member towns are engaging in that Marcoux used as an example was his desire to have more than one officer on during each shift. That possibility is currently one of several ideas or possibilities being discussed at the meetings.