Support St. J Police, Support The Armory Bond

To the Editor:

One of the gifts about serving in St. Johnsbury is my relationships with other public servants. In this era where public safety is a consideration for every school official, I am incredibly grateful for the service of Chief Tim Page and his entire organization. From the dispatch office up to the Chief himself, I have found the whole force courteous, thoughtful, and dedicated to public safety. I admired how Chief Page handled the unfortunate situation in front of the station in June of 2020. His work with Town Manager Chad Whitehead facilitated a person-to-person resolution for Ms. Turnbaugh & Lt. Bickford after Ms. Turnbaugh fell down the steps of the police station.

Another gift we benefit from in St. Johnsbury is the proximity of the station to our school and the Academy. Recently, when a prisoner escaped briefly from the courthouse, we were notified promptly both when the incident began and when it was safe to continue our normal operations. Officers were visible to us that afternoon as they searched for the escapee. In addition, Chief Page was in touch with me in the following days to ensure future communication continued to be as open and transparent.

The location of the new building is critical. The proposed space allows our public servants to still be centrally located, close to the schools, and rehabs a building that will be a key addition to the continued revitalization of the downtown. The thoughtful process detailed by the Town and Chief Page demonstrates to the public that this was neither a quick nor a rash decision. From my perspective, this work will be a long-term benefit to the St. Johnsbury community.

I know a bond is a serious consideration for a municipality to consider. In my three years of service to this community, Chief Page has been truthful, honest, and transparent while maintaining a commitment to public safety. These characteristics are noteworthy in any profession in 2021, but especially for a leader in law enforcement. I urge all readers to review his guest commentary in the Friday edition of the Caledonian-Record in light of those characteristics and support the bond on Tuesday, September 14.

We have many gifts in St. Johnsbury, and I am hopeful that we will care for and maintain those gifts for many years to come.

Brian Ricca

Williston, Vt.

St. Johnsbury School Superintendent

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