Lt. Governor Phil Scott works with Orange County Sheriff

July 13, 2011 -- This morning, Lt. Governor Phil Scott went to a shooting range, conducted a traffic patrol and inspected jail cells with Sheriff Bill Bohnyak of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. In keeping with the hands-on spirit of Scott’s “Vermont Everyday Jobs” tour, the agenda was more than the traditional police ride-along; Scott actually got to drive the cruiser.

“I was glad I didn’t have to write any tickets,” Scott admitted, “but I was honored to be invited to work alongside Sheriff Bill and get a glimpse of a typical day in his department.”

The invitation to work with the Sheriff’s Department came through WCVR radio, where Lt. Governor Scott and Sheriff Bohnyak both do weekly call-ins on Wednesday mornings. The Sheriff, who calls in right after the Lt. Governor, heard Scott talk about his “Vermont Everyday Jobs” and decided he could put him to work.

This morning, after recording their radio show live in the studio, the two started their work day at the shooting range at the Chelsea Fish and Game Club. Sheriff Bohnyak had the Lt. Governor shoot a Glock pistol and an HK-416 rifle, both of which are standard-issue weapons in the department. Although Sheriff Bill, who is known for his marksmanship, bested the Lt. Governor with the rifle, he was impressed with Scott’s accuracy. 

“He definitely would have passed the certification,” Bohnyak said.

From the range, they headed back to the office in Chelsea, where Sheriff Bohnyak showed the Lt. Governor the building’s Civil-War-era jail cells and their brand new fingerprinting machine. “It was an interesting contrast of history and cutting-edge technology,” Scott said.

Bohnyak also gave Scott a tour of another innovative crime-fighting tool: the department’s 8-month-old “special investigative unit” on Main Street in Chelsea Village, in the former home of the Chelsea Diner. The newly renovated building is designed to be a comfortable place for crime victims and witnesses to meet with detectives.

Finally, the Lt. Governor drove the Sheriff’s vehicle on a traffic patrol throughout the county. Although Lt. Governor Scott didn’t issue any citations, he was able to assist a truck driver who had lost some of his cargo on the backroads.

“I can see why this department has received statewide recognition,” Scott said. “It’s clear that they do a lot with a little, and are constantly thinking of ways to better serve Orange County citizens. I thank Sheriff Bohnyak for a very informative work day.”

Lt. Governor Scott will be able to take much of what he learned back to Montpelier, as he prepares for his first meeting with the Governor’s Homeland Security Advisory Council later this summer.