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Survey aims to streamline police department

The HCPD was founded in 1988 when a constable was named and given traffic enforcement duties. Over the years, part-time officers were brought in from other police departments to help the constable with traffic duties, until the town finally hired a full time police chief in 1994.

It's not that old of a department, really," said Wilson. There is a growing need to define what our community wants from the department and in turn to establish how much funding it needs.

Last year, said Wilson, it became apparent to Hinesburg Town officials and citizens that the police were being overworked. It was at this time that the department approached the town with a proposal to add 2.7 officers to the force. In the end, Hinesburg approved one new position for the HCPD.

In August of this year, the Town of Hinesburg released a document entitled Request for Proposals: Town of Hinesburg Strategic Planning for Community Police Department. The Request for Proposals, or RFP, stated that: The growth in the Community Police Department has been reactive, not proactive, and would benefit greatly from a well thought out five-year plan. For the most part, personnel and equipment have been added to the department based on availability of grant funds and taxpayer dollars, not according to a long range plan which encompasses projected population growth, changing demographics and community goals.

To aid the Selectboard and the police department, the town enlisted the services of Municipal Resources, Inc. While consulting with the Town Administrator and town staff through several evening meetings in the coming months, the organization will perform five key duties: research and collect data; interview town staff and selectboard; collect community input; prepare a draft strategic plan; and, finally, prepare a final strategic plan.

This particular firm was chosen by the Selectboard due to their extensive experience and dedication to small municipalities, as the company's president himself was a former Municipal Manager.

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