Burlington Businesses Form Safe Escort Program For Workers

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — The Burlington Business Association is forming a safety escort program for downtown workers leaving their jobs at night, following several late-night violent incidents downtown.

Between 10 p.m. at 3 a.m., downtown employees will be able to call for a trained security professional to escort them to their car or transportation, WCAX-TV reported.

“It just would give me peace of mind knowing that they’ve got another set of eyes on their departure,” said Kristin Halvorson of Halvorson’s Restaurant. She was involved in an altercation with a man on Church Street who used a hammer to beat someone who tried to help her.

“The more people on the block, the more vibrant the town is. So, I want people to come here and feel safe and I think this gives a lot of peace of mind,” she said.

The move comes as the Burlington Police Department is addressing budget cuts which it says have led to short-staffing overnight, the news station reported.

The business group is working to find private funding to pay for private security services.