Douglas says drug crime a priority

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(Host) Republican gubernatorial candidate James Douglas says Vermont faces a drug crisis and that more police are needed to combat crime.

Douglas says the Dean administration has neglected public safety by allowing the state police to become understaffed. He says that the state police will have 40 unfilled positions by the end of the fiscal year.

(Douglas) “The key is we need to reprioritize. When a governor proposes a budget to the General Assembly, he or she establishes priorities. And attacking the drug problem in our state, which has become a crisis in my view, and insuring sufficient law enforcement coverage will be a priority for me when I establish the first budget in January.”

(Host) The Republican candidate also says he wants a law that would require the state to notify parents whenever convicted drug dealers move into neighborhoods. Douglas spoke with reporters at City Hall park in Burlington, where he says drug dealers can often be seen.

(Douglas) “I feel so strongly about this because this is such a tremendous public safety crisis in our state, that we have to be sure that people who have been convicted, even though they have served their sentence and repaid the community in that sense, are still known to the communities in which they live.”

(Host) In recent years, the Legislature and the Dean administration have supported large increases in the Department of Public Safety budget. Last year, the department got a 13% increase. But Douglas says those efforts have fallen short and that he would work to get more police on the road. He says motor vehicle inspectors could be used for general law enforcement.

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