The southern Vermont town of Vernon will hand over law enforcement duties to the Windham County Sheriff’s Department tonight at midnight. That’s after the town voted earlier this year to shut its police department over concerns that the closing of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant will significantly cut its tax base.
Under a one-year contract with the town, the Sheriff’s department will take over responsibilities like patrolling, investigations, and first response to 9-1-1 calls.
Windham County Sheriff Keith Clark says the contract will give the town more flexibility in adjusting its police services as the nuclear plant closes.
“I look at this as a transition for the town. It’s a way for them to continue to provide policing, save some money and gives them a little buffer to decide what they want to do for policing coverage,” Clark said.
Clark says the agreement will provide the town with a 24-hour patrol service, which it currently doesn’t have.
The town’s remaining police officers will spend the rest of this week closing out cases and finishing any remaining work.
The Vermont Yankee plant is scheduled to close by the end of this year.