03.12.10

Leahy To Chair Barre Hearing Of Senate Judiciary Committee

Leahy Again Brings Senate Panel To Vermont To Focus On Crime Solutions

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) will chair a field hearing of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, March 22, in Barre, Vermont.  The hearing will examine the effective efforts of Barre and surrounding communities in fighting drug-related crime.  Leahy has invited the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, R. Gil Kerlikowske – the nation’s “drug czar” – to testify at the hearing.  Kerlikowske is the former police chief in Seattle, and has almost 40 years of law enforcement experience.  Judiciary Committee Member Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), a former prosecutor, will also attend.

Leahy chairs the Senate panel, and noticed the hearing on “Effective Community Efforts to Counter Drug-Related Crime in Rural America” on Friday.  Leahy has been a long-time leader in Congress on efforts to assist state and local law enforcement, as well as community-based efforts to prevent and address crime.  This is the third in a series of hearings on drug crime that Leahy has brought to Vermont.  He has twice brought the Judiciary Committee to Vermont to hear firsthand about the successful efforts communities have made to address drug-related crime.  The hearings, which were held in Rutland and St. Albans, helped to strengthen community resolve to address the problem of drug-related crime, and highlighted successful community-wide efforts to take on this difficult issue.

“In Vermont, we have felt the presence of drug abuse and drug-related crimes in our communities.  The myth persists that these are only big-city problems, but rural America is also coping with these issues,” said Leahy.  “As we learned in Rutland and St. Albans, communities are developing innovative and effective ways to combat crime, and communities across the country can learn from their successes.  Vermonters in Barre and the surrounding communities have similarly pulled together to face this serious problem, and I believe this hearing will help other small towns across the country learn from their successes.”

Leahy has advocated a three-pronged approach to combating rising crime levels in America – prevention, treatment and enforcement.  He has invited local and state officials to testify, as well as community leaders and advocates.  Barre Mayor Tom Lauzon will offer testimony at the hearing.

Witnesses who will testify with Director Kerlikowske at the March 22 hearing include:

  • Col. Tom L’Esperance, Vermont State Police Commander
  • Barbara Floersch, Associate Director of the Washington County Youth Service Bureau/Boys & Girls Club
  • *Susan, Graduate of the Vermont Works for Women’s Modular Home Construction Program at Northwest State Correctional Facility
  • Damartin Quadros, Community business owner

The hearing will be held Monday, March 22, at 9:30 a.m., at the Barre City Auditorium, 20 Auditorium Hill, Barre, Vermont.

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**Name has been changed to protect witness identity

NOTICE OF COMMITTEE FIELD HEARING

The Senate Committee on the Judiciary has scheduled a hearing on “Effective Community Efforts to Counter Drug-Related Crime in Rural America” for Monday, March 22, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. in the Barre City Auditorium in Barre, Vermont.

By order of the Chairman.

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Press Contact

David Carle: 202-224-3693