Consequences of defunding Burlington Police fall on small business new Safety Escort Program

For Immediate Release
July 22, 2021

BURLINGTON — Burlington is not only our home, but the jewel of commerce, arts, shopping and social engagement for Chittenden County and the state of Vermont.

The news that our small business community has initiated a safety escort program to protect Church Street and surrounding area employees is a direct result of our City Council defunding the Burlington Police Department.

“For over 30 years now Church Street Marketplace has been a model for the rest of the state to aspire to and quite frankly recreate. It is truly disheartening to me, and should be to all of us, the city cannot maintain public safety for employees and patrons to work and enjoy without supplementing security by our business community,” said Christopher-Aaron Felker, candidate for Burlington City Council Ward 3.

Felker added: “These job creators are the economic engine for employment, contributing mightily to our general fund revenues as they help maintain our beautiful city. Adding the responsibility of an escort program on top of surviving the pandemic creates an undue burden.

“Both my opponents wish to further dismantle the Burlington Police Department, sacrifice public protection and cut cops on the beat. I’ll proudly stand up to exclaim, ‘Enough is enough!’ It’s time for responsible leadership, it’s time to keep Burlingtonians and visitors safe, it’s time for a Positive Policing Policy.”

Image courtesy of Bruce Parker/TNR

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