Sheriff adjusts patrol schedules, announces personnel changes

MIDDLEBURY — Area residents will be seeing Addison County Sheriff’s Department (ACSD) patrol officers out in the field earlier and later than they have been accustomed to seeing them. That’s because the department has adopted a new “flex” schedule that will place cruisers on the road as early as 6 a.m. and into the evening hours.
Prior to this switch, ACSD field personnel were primarily working an 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. shift, explained ACSD Det. Sgt. Peter Newton. Sheriff’s department officials reasoned that the community would be better served having shifts coincide with the morning and evening commutes.
The ACSD is currently made up of Sheriff Don Keeler, six patrol officers, two detectives, one officer for special detail, four court officers (two of whom are part-time) and two administrators.
Addison County residents will also notice a greater ACSD presence in local schools, according to Ruth Whitney, a detective-lieutenant at the department and lead investigator for the county’s Unit for Special Investigations.
Whitney explained that patrol officers are now making a point of stopping in at local schools as part of their daily activities. It’s good public relations, ACSD officials reasoned, and it allows patrol officers to get a sense of any crime trends that may be occurring at the schools.
“It shows that police officers are approachable,” Whitney said.
Whitney urged citizens to email her with any crime tips and/or trends at [email protected].
In other recent activity, the ACSD:
• Announced that Newton is working part-time at the Addison County State’s Attorney’s Office, assisting in the investigation of sexual assault and domestic violence cases (see related story, this issue).
• Hired two new employees for the Addison County Special Investigations Unit. They include program Coordinator Elizabeth Tracy and Victims’ Advocate Courtney Hudgens. Both are part-time positions, noted Whitney.
• Hired a new patrol sergeant, Bruce Nason. He is a retired police chief from Saranac Lake, N.Y. He replaces Paul Poynter, who recently moved to another state, according to Newton.
• Announced the graduation, from the Vermont Police Academy, of ACSD patrol Officer Jill Grant. She will now be working full-time for the ACSD.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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