The Mountain Times

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Killington starts search for police chief

The town posted a job opening for Killington's first police chief last week, based on some recommendations from First Constable Whit Montgomery, a likely candidate for the job.

According to the posting, available on the town of Killington's website, the successful candidate will get paid $30,000 to $35,000 a year for working under 40 hours a week as a patrolman, coordinating with Vermont State Police, the Rutland County Sheriff's Office, Killington Fire and Rescue and managing two part-time special officers.

The budget for the department is $80,000.

The chief position does not come with insurance, benefits or paid time-off.

Vermont allows municipalities to use their discretion when offering benefits to town employees, including police chiefs, according to Killington Town Manager Seth Webb.

"We structured this position and funding based on recommendations from the constables, based on the current need for law enforcement at the town level," Webb said Tuesday of last week.

The position will be open until filled and there will be a formal interview process, according to Webb.

The position has been posted for about two weeks, and the town has received three applications, Webb said.

First Constable Whit Montgomery, who won the elected position this past Town Meeting Day, has publicly expressed his interest in applying for the position.

Montgomery ran for the first constable post following the resignation of longtime Killington top cop Scott Bigelow.

The job posting also reads, "preferred candidates will have a proven track record of working collaboratively in a resort community environment and the demonstrated ability to build and maintain strong relationships with community residents and businesses, municipal officials, and other law enforcement agencies. The successful candidate should possess an extensive knowledge of law enforcement practices and services which have been acquired through verifiable work."

Other requirements include official police officer training and certification, ability to double as a patrolman, a secondary study or degree in criminal justice, law enforcement and/or relevant experience and experience with backcountry/wilderness rescues.

Killington currently relies on Montgomery and Vermont State Police as its main law enforcement entity. There is no physical police department and arrestees are processed at the state police barracks in Rutland.

Comparatively, in Stowe, which has a full-time police department for its year-round population of 4,000 residents and more than 10,000 visitors, the chief gets an annual salary of more than $83,000, according to information provided by the town office.

In Dover, which is home to Mount Snow, the soon-to-retire chief gets paid $73,000 and is in charge of 8-10 officers and other employees for a year-round population of 1,124 and more than 10,000 visitors on peak winter weekends, according to Town Clerk Andrew McLean.  

And in Ludlow, the police chief gets an amount consistent with Stowe and Dover, according to Town Manager Frank Heald.
Killington, has a year-round population of approximately 1,000 full-time residents, with peak weekends exceeding 10,000 visitors, too.

While the towns mentioned above do not provide identical examples to follow, as their demographics and needs may differ from Killington, they do serve to provide some comparison to services other resort towns have deemed necessary.

Cristina Kumka is a correspondent for The Mountain Times, Cristina can be reached at cristina.kumka@yahoo.com