Chittenden County Sheriff to patrol Charlotte

Starting in July, the Chittenden County Sheriff’s Office will take up traffic enforcement duties on Charlotte’s town roads.

For years, the town, which has no police department of its own, has contracted the Vermont State Police to keep tabs on speeders. Under the current agreement, which expires on June 30, the service costs $78.60 per hour and no more than $33,000 per year.

The Chittenden County Sheriff’s Office will charge $65 per hour and no more than $30,000 per year. It will patrol townwide from Monday through Friday for “up to eight-nine hours per week,” according to the contract, which the Charlotte Selectboard signed at its meeting on June 12.

Board member Lewis Mudge described the absence of weekend enforcement as “a real kick in the pants.” But chair James Faulkner argued in favor of prioritizing weekdays.

“Everybody travels on those days the most, back and forth to work,” Faulkner said. “It would be great if we could have seven days, but the budget didn’t allow for it.”

The Chittenden County Sheriff’s Office previous tenure in Charlotte ended in 2008, when the town hired the Shelburne Police Department to replace what town administrator Dean Bloch remembered last year as the former’s “heavy-handed” and “not very professional” interactions with local motorists. The town subsequently switched to the Vermont State Police after Shelburne raised its rate.

According to data published by the Vermont Judiciary, Vermont State Police issued 14 fines for municipal traffic violations in Charlotte in 2022. The agency will continue to patrol Route 7 on the state’s behalf.