March 22, 2010
Effective Community Efforts to counter drug related crime.
My name is Damartin Quadros I am a small business owner in central VT which is Co-owned by my sister Susan Quadros-Covey. Our family bought the Dunkin Donuts franchisee in 1996 . They are all independently owned and operated. I have run the Barre location since then. Over the past Decade I have seen a lot of change in down town especially over the last couple of years. The mayor and chief of police have focused there efforts in patrolling down town area more frequently and more visibly with a foot patrol officer. This has made a good impact on instances that avoid certain crime from my prospective. Especially drug related activities.
The biggest challenge we have had in down town is the perceptions of the surrounding community especially our customers. Perception is something that can take long to change. And if its bad then it really hurts downtown business. Barre is centrally located along with Montpelier and is the meeting point from everything to shopping and employment for the surrounding rural communities.
When it gets into the evening hours people don't feel safe going down town. Which from the changes that I have seen over the years I believe there has been much improvement but if people perceive it as not safe then that has to be changed. The community has summer concert events this is a great way to have the community enjoy the summer months her downtown along with many other events that go on.
Local law enforcement needs to have the resources to act as a deterrent and prevent crime from happening. Especially when a community like Barre sometimes has an added burden due just to its location in relation to the court system and other downtown businesses. I believe it is easier in rural communities for drug related crime because sometimes it's easier to get away with more due to less law enforcement and larger geographical areas to cover. That makes it even more important for all of the surrounding communities to get involved in coming up with solutions.
As a business owner I have taken steps to make my location secure and safe by adding surveillance cameras to my parking lot as well as additional lighting so that it is bright and it has helped tremendously. It has already been used on a couple of occasions in collaboration with local law enforcement. To solve or help solve local crimes, as business we can do our a part of helping deter drug related crime by taking some of these steps and working with fellow businesses to make our downtowns safe and drug free.
We depend on our community that's why we are in business to serve them so I want them to feel safe and know that it is safe to visit down town anytime of the day. I believe we are getting there and it takes involvement from the community as a whole to make it happen. If we all do our part I think we can make even more changes to make it almost none existent.
Thank you, Mr. Senator for letting me be a part of this