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Beau Alexander 

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BENNINGTON — Beau Alexander plans to bring significant change to the Bennington County Sheriff’s Department if he is elected to the post this fall.

Alexander, one of three declared candidates to succeed outgoing Sheriff Chad Schmidt, is facing Manchester Police officer and investigator James Gulley Jr. in running for the sheriff’s post. In addition, Lt. Joel Howard of the Sheriff’s Department is seeking the job.

Immediately, Alexander said, he would work to “create a transparent relationship with the community and form an alliance that aligns with community objectives.”

That would include “a full independent audit of the Sheriff’s Department,” he said.

“This audit will be conducted by an independent third-party agency, with full transparency at no cost to the taxpayer,” Alexander said.

He added that, with him as sheriff, community members “will have free and ready access to the entire process,” and “a full unredacted version of this report with all findings will promptly be made available to the community.”

‘FULLY TRANSPARENT’

The effort, he said, “will be beneficial to the community as we rebuild the Sheriff’s Department. This action will begin our new and fully transparent approach for our department and community.”

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Alexander said he’d also “hold a quarterly meeting open to all the community members, with both an informational session and a forum to ask questions and have them answered. This meeting with be held by the sheriff and a rotation of deputies, as well as other agency leaders.”

As sheriff, Alexander said, “I will have an open-door policy, with free and ready access to me and our department by all our community members. As sheriff, I will always be available to all our community members throughout the good and hard times that our community may experience.”

He added, “We will have an ‘us’ community approach with the daily operations of the department,” he said. “The department will serve our community, and we will all work together to establish what that looks like and what works best for us as a whole.”

WORK EXPERIENCE

Alexander works at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center as the account manager for Securitas Security Services. In his role, he said, he leads a team of security personnel “responsible for investigating security incidents and emergencies in a timely and professional manner.”

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Previously, he was a contractor for the federal Department of Homeland Security, responsible for ensuring that policing agencies around the nation had effective policies that support their efforts.

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He also worked for the state’s Probation and Parole offices in Bennington and Chittenden counties, and “worked collaboratively with all local and state law enforcement officials, as well as human services agencies within the Bennington community.”

During his 14-year career, Alexander said, he “met with families who have carried tremendous weight caused by the opiate epidemic.”

He said he also has “seen first-hand how a local criminal justice system’s policies can affect the very communities in which it serves.”

‘A DIVERSE ENVIRONMENT’

He said he’d work to create “a diverse environment inside the agency to build confidence within the community it serves,” would “improve the skills and knowledge of department officials in an effort to build confidence in their abilities” and “create a transparent relationship with the community and form an alliance that aligns with community objectives.”

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Alexander said he’d strive to “build a stronger and self-sufficient community that does not promote or allow any crime or disorder to thrive within it.”

As a community, he said, “we will take an innovative approach on substance abuse, with education for our community members, school administration, our criminal justice system and our local law enforcement agencies.”

He added, “Collaboratively taking this approach will help us address the issues surrounding substance abuse before it becomes harder for our community members [who] struggle with it.”

Alexander also proposes an anti-bullying campaign to “address the ongoing issue of cyberbullying and the means of bullying that our youth struggle with. … We will actively address the different ways our children can report bullying and help others that are being bullied — such as a hotline number, social media platforms and one-on-one meetings with the sheriff and or deputies.”

That effort “will encourage a pro-social approach for our youth,” he said.

COLLABORATION

“As sheriff,” Alexander said, “I will work closely with our state’s attorney, local and state law enforcement agencies to address the perpetual fight against this epidemic and substance abuse ... working with all agencies to reduce recidivism and keeping our community safe. We will stop the catch and release status-quo that we have become accustomed to.”

He also promised to “add more full-time and part-time deputy positions to the department, with a progressive approach on retaining good officers and removing the ones that don’t have the community interest and well-being at heart.”

In addition, he said, “I will create substations throughout the community with an effort on protecting and serving our community, as deemed necessary by our community.”

Alexander, a resident of Shaftsbury, is the father of four children.

Jim Therrien writes for Vermont News and Media, including the Bennington Banner, Manchester Journal and Brattleboro Reformer. Email jtherrien@benningtonbanner.com


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