Killington Second Constable Whit Montgomery got a round of applause from residents in a packed town office Tuesday night after introducing a town police budget that calls for the addition of two new officers for a price tag of $5,050 more, or 8 percent, over the prior year’s budget.
Montgomery’s plan adds two seasonal, yet experienced, officers to work hours during the resort town’s peak season when there’s a current ratio of 15,000 out-of-towners per officer.
Currently, Montgomery is the only constable in town following the retirement of First Constable Scott Bigelow and the resignation this summer of special officer Ryan Soos.Montgomery, who is running for first constable this coming election in March, said if his budget were approved, he planned to hire on at least one of the officers by this winter.
The officers would be from other towns and work shifts, so there would always be two Killington police on duty during the busiest times, using both town police vehicles.
The officers, like Montgomery, would not require benefits, a sticking point with at least one resident.
Longtime Killington resident Ed Fowler shouted, “Why doesn’t he (Montgomery) get health care or life insurance?”
Montgomery’s presentation, done via an overhead projector with pictures, also included his goals to step up community policing where residents help him detect drug crime and burglaries, a growing trend in the mountain town.
He also wants to reintroduce Neighborhood Watch, and start policing programs with school children and seniors in town.
Also in the budget are a the purchase of a new shotgun for animal control and a Tazer.
So far in 2012, Killington constables and/or the Vermont State police have responded to 642 calls, an upward trend that might outpace last year’s number.
Including a mandatory $9,000 capital improvement expense for town police cars that was flowed into the budget from the start, Montgomery’s overall budget is $79,500, a $14,050 or 21 percent increase over the prior year’s budget of $65,450.
-Cristina Kumka | Staff Writer