The Mountain Times

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Residents prepare to fight back against crime

KILLINGTON - Residents were assigned "in charge" of watching out for crime in their neighborhoods Thursday night following a pre­sentation on burglary prevention by First Constable Whit Montgomery.

The meeting, attended by about 20 Killington residents at the Sher­burne Memorial Library at 7:30 p.m.,was for information sharing and for Montgomery to ask for the public's help in keeping their streets safe.

"We have 44 square miles of roads and alot of second homes. Even if we had five full-time officers, it wouldn't be enough," Montgomery said, reporting that there had been seven burglaries to unalarmed homes in Killington this year so far.
"The more eyes out there, the better," he said.

The constable, a resident himself, is helping to form the town's first police department, starting with the hiring of a police chief, which is ongoing.

For now, the town still relies on out-of-town state police, sheriff's deputies and Montgomery to react to crime in the mountain town.
Montgomery and residents feel, however, that more community policing, or crime prevention, is needed.

Residents on Thursday discussed ideas ranging from installing game cameras on their blocks, to going door to door meeting their neighbors, to getting the town to help pay for refrigerator magnets with the contact information of Montgomery and State Police printed on them.

Locking doors, garages and keeping lights on are also effective in deterring crime, the constable said.

Montgomery assigned "block watch leaders" to head up Neighbor­hood Watch groups, took down email addresses to be used for email blasts on any suspicious cars or activity in town and suggested that if residents see something, they say something, or, at the least, write down the description and license plate number of any suspicious car in question.

Montgomery said the seven home burglaries reported this year thus far have been copper thefts of second homes mostly, which could have been deterred using new security equipment that captures images of cars pulling in and out of a resident's driveway and then instantly emails that image to the resident's Smartphone, no matter where they are.

One resident said she had one installed at her home in North Sher­burne after her house was burglarized a few years ago.

She showed some audience members a recent email image on her phone, of her own car pulling in and out.

Another audience member said he was told to sleep with his car keys next to him and press the panic button if a possible home invader was near.

Montgomery told the audience he has asked for more of a police presence up on the mountain and was assured that the State Police and Rutland County Sheriff's Department would be closer by, espe­cially on targeted streets like Thundering Brook Road, River Road, and Telefon Trail.

For more info on the town's community policing effort, call Mont­gomery at 802-236-5030. For non-emergency calls, call 802-773-9101. For emergencies, dial 911.