Burlington businesses offer ‘safety escorts’

Crime up, police protection down in ‘defunded’ Queen City

Faced with more crime and less police protection, a Burlington business group is taking matters into its own hands – peacefully.

In response to increased incidents of violence and threatening behavior in the downtown, a group of businesses and community stakeholders have come together to establish the Safety Escort Program, the Burlington Business Association announced July 20.

The Safety Escort Program will provide on-call safety escorts in the general downtown area. By phone or text, anyone can request a safety escort and a friendly ‘ambassador’ will walk them to or from their vehicle, building, hotel or workplace. First priority will go to retail and nightlife employees.

According to the 2021 Downtown Safety Survey, conducted by the Church Street Marketplace, 53% of the respondents say they feel unsafe or very unsafe in downtown at night. 66% report a “regular exchange about safety issues” between staff and management. 51% say they have been a victim of crime or harrassment coming to or leaving downtown.

In the past week, the Burlington Police Dept. has responded to incidents of disorderly conduct, domestic assault, a stabbing, and an assault with a hammer on a restaurant worker.

Mark Bouchett, owner of downtown business Homeport, said “for years, members of the Homeport staff have consistently shared their concerns about how they do not feel safe. Concern has only grown with recent attacks on downtown workers, and this is why I will be supporting the Safety Escort Program until a more permanent solution can be found.”

Burlington GOP City Council candidate Christopher-Aaron Felker said he supports the program but urged a “positive policing policy” providing more police coverage for the downtown area. Last year, the Burlington City Council reduced funding for patrol officers in the wake of the George Floyd killing and subsequent anti-police protests.

“Our small business community shouldn’t need to hire private security to keep their employees safe,” Felker said on social media yesterday. “This safety escort program is Exhibit A for why we need a properly funded and staffed Burlington Police Department.”

Categories: Crime

15 replies »

  1. How about business owners and all the people who now need a “safety escort” – CHANGE THEIR VOTING HABITS & put fiscally conservative & traditional value independents/libertarians/republicans back into office????????? There’s a more EFFECTIVE “peaceful” solution for ya!

    Via your taxes, it is the GOVERNMENT’S JOB t PROTECT you – not an “escort”.


    • Unfortunately, the bulk of the voter base in Burlington are now renters, students and deadbeats.
      Those who value law and order, free-market capitalism and believe that the incarceration of violent criminals promotes public safety are now outnumbered. Marxism has consequences.

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    Livestreamed, Non-Stop, 72 Hours on

    Mike will reveal the cyber data and the packet capture from the November 2020 election.

    $5,000,000.00 Challenge will be offered to any attendee who can prove that this cyber data is not valid data from the November 2020 election.

    – The symposium is not open to the public
    – Invitees include current Politicians, Cyber Experts and the Media

    Help Save Our Country and Make this the Most Watched Event in History.”

  3. Less Police presence leads to More opportunity for crime and criminal activity. To count on laypeople to provide security for any area is an invitation for trouble and danger. If having professional Police protection reduces personal fear then so be it. I would think that civilians putting themselves in the role of protector and responsible for safety of a client, would be a nightmare (or cash cow) for insurance companies. Regular police coverage of an area increases the level of the public’s safety confidence, not detracts. Why should politicians suffer “a knee jerk reaction” and reduce the level of safety in Burlington as a demonstration of support for a situation in another city? As an aside, many communities are rethinking the “less is better rationale” concerning a professional Police organization. In trouble, feel threatened, or unsafe, who do you need? Who do you call? A uniformed, trained and responsible Police Officer!

  4. I think the politicians in the state house should become the escorts. What you sow, you reap! The U.N. agenda is in full swing. Society rots from the head down.

  5. What does a “safety escort” do? Do they carry a whistle or something? Maybe a cellphone to call a cop? It seems like a legal nightmare for the civilian who’s playing police if something happens.

  6. Last summer protestors broke a window in the police station, stole and burned thousands of dollars worth of Seven Days newspapers from kiosks, blocked traffic on city streets and illegally occupied the city park. Progressive city counsel members and a weak mayor responded with resolutions to defund the police at a time when stabbings and shootings along with less violent crime is escalating. It is hard to believe that the majority of Burlington’s residents want to see their city descend into a potential lawless Seattle- like city but the current objective conditions seem to show that scenario for the Queen city as a possibility .

  7. Vermont is an open and concealed carry state…Pack heat and see how brave the criminals are then…The 2nd amendment is there for a reason…If the politically correct liberals aren’t going to provide safety for their taxpayers who elected them, then use your constitutional rights to protect yourselves.

    • That Sarah George will not prosecute liberal lawbreakers is fact.
      That she will aggressively prosecute someone defending themselves with a firearm is very likely.
      Better idea? Stay away from Burlington, let the merchants and businesses know why. Let Burlington sink under the weight of socialism.

  8. This is what you get when congresswomen and select board members are shipped in from California and backed by socialists money. Where is the law that precludes anyone from running for office unless they live in the state or municipality for five years or more. It’s unfortunate but when corruption is this in our face, its time to exercise all rights given to us by our creator. And I don’t mean turn the other cheek!

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