Vernon, Vt., Monday Night Could Reconsider Police Funding Cuts

Residents in Vernon, Vermont, Monday night may reconsider a vote they took in March that eliminated the town’s police department.

Resident Mike Ball says the 118-to-112 vote against police funding caught many residents off guard. He helped write the petition that led to the special meeting Monday.

“This time it’s going to be in the gym so we can hold a lot more people,” Ball says. “We expect a larger turnout than we had before, simply because everybody is going to be in protectorate mode for their little piece and part of the pie.”

Vernon faces difficult budget decisions as its top taxpayer, the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant, prepares to shut down.

At the March meeting, town residents voted to remove $300,000 in funding for the police department and replace it with $40,000 to pay the sheriff for some patrols.

Last week, Vernon Police Chief Mary Beth Hebert resigned. She’d spoken publicly against the town’s action.

This story contains reporting from New England Public Radio’s Sam Hudzik and Vermont Public Radio.