While most police departments are shortstaffed, one county sheriff has found a way to grow
The Windsor County Sheriff’s Department has nearly doubled the size of its deputy staff, significantly expanded services, and added a new canine unit. All the activity has occurred since County Sheriff Ryan Palmer assumed office on Feb. 1, having been elected by Windsor County voters the preceding November.
Palmer provided an update on the status and activities of the Sheriff’s Department to the Barnard Selectboard on Wednesday, Nov. 1, and confirmed that the roster of sworn law enforcement officers serving as deputies in the Windsor County department has swelled from 12 to 22. The presence on the department staff of Palmer himself brings the tally of deputies to 23.
Given the funding challenges that have often plagued sheriff’s departments in Vermont, which derive most of their financial resources from contracts with local communities and service to regional courts and the Vermont Department of Corrections, Palmer was asked how the Windsor County department has been able to afford the expansion.
“We’re just taking on more contracted work,” Palmer explained, saying the new efforts extend beyond the contracted services, predominantly for traffic enforcement, that the department provides to eight Windsor County communities: Rochester, Sharon, Barnard, Pomfret, Plymouth, Reading, Cavendish, and Hartland.”
Palmer added that his team is also providing additional services to the communities with which it holds contracts, beyond the customary traffic enforcement and issuance of speeding citations. “We’re trying to be more responsive to community issues such as drug houses, that type of thing,” the sheriff noted. “We’ve done a couple of search warrants; we’ve recovered stolen guns. We’re really branching out and doing more full-service law enforcement types of things.
Categories: Local government