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Patrick L.
Democrat VT

About Sen. Patrick
  • Recognizing the Grand Isle County Sheriff’s Department

    by Senator Patrick J. Leahy

    Posted on 2015-12-14

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    LEAHY. Mr. President, many talented Vermonters support local agencies charged with ensuring the safety of Vermont communities throughout the State, each and every day. Today I would like to recognize one such department--the Grand Isle County Sheriff's Department, which received two national Highway Safety Awards at last month's annual gathering of the International Association of Chiefs of Police in Chicago.

    Grand Isle County lies in the northwest reaches of Vermont, covering five towns and 85 square miles of land. It is actually a chain of islands surrounded by the waters of Lake Champlain, with commanding views of the Adirondacks to the west and the Green Mountains to the east. Its communities swell with summer visitors who come to enjoy the ``beauty spot'' of the islands. While it is a rural area, Grand Isle County is also home to the busy Route 2 corridor that links the United States and Canada, a critical transportation route for commerce between the two countries. As such, Grand Isle provides unique challenges for Sheriff Ray Allen and his 13 sworn deputies who work to protect the safety of its visitors and residents while ensuring that traffic is not impeded.

    The Grand Isle Sheriff's Department was one of only three small sheriff agencies to be recognized with the National Law Enforcement Safety Challenge award, as noted by the Burlington Free Press. The award cited the department's excellence in traffic safety, with specific focus on impaired driving and speeding violations.

    Sheriff Allen's department was also honored with the National Sheriffs' Association's Top Traffic Safety Award, sharing that distinction with the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office.

    These two awards are a notable achievement for a small department and in no small part due to Sheriff Allen's strong leadership. Sheriff Allen is the type of law enforcement officer who cares deeply about the communities he serves and the department he represents. Sheriff Allen was sworn into office in 2011, following 20 years of service as a deputy sheriff. When he is not tending to highways, he is tending to the family's well-known apple orchard.

    On the Grand Isle Sheriff's Department Web site, Sheriff Allen cites ``the great working relationship with Local, State and Federal agencies'' that his department enjoys. This, we know, does not happen by accident, and such cooperation is a trademark of successful policing.

    ``We will strive to build upon the confidence and trust the citizens of Grand Isle County have placed upon us by developing strong relationships with the community and providing high quality, cost effective law enforcement services.'' This is Sheriff Allen's pledge, and one supported by those who work with him.

    With these awards, Sheriff Allen has done just that. He has made his department and his community proud. Congratulations, Sheriff Ray Allen.


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