The Rutland City Police Department identified one
commander as Project VISION's executive director to show
a commitment to community engagement and the solving of
serious issues related to opiate use. In addition, the
police have increased their presence in Rutland's
Northwest neighborhood through directed patrols,
park/walk/talk to engage neighbors on an equal footing,
and delivery of custom notifications to drug traffickers
living in the neighborhood.
In 2014, a large number of arrests were made for drug
offenses. This effort was a collaboration with the
Vermont Drug Task Force. Offenders who sold heroin were
either sent to Federal Court or Vermont District Court.
About 7 offenders – identified as non-violent and only
using drug sales to survive – were selected for Drug
Treatment Court, and all but one accepted. Since Rutland
Drug Market Intervention (DMI) model, the arrestees
were invited to a modified "call-in" with an influential
adult (such as a relative or caring friend) and, after
receiving community and social services messages, they
received a message from the Police Chief. Upon completion
of the program (average length of one year), the offender
would receive misdemeanor charges for drug possession
instead of felony drug sales charges.
Project VISION supported the opening of the West
Ridge Center, which treats over 925 patients with
opioid use disorder. Through the center's hub-and-spokes
model, patients receive medication-assisted treatment
(MAT) at the hub and buprenorphine treatment at a spoke
doctor's office. The hub provides wrap-around social
services in addition to group and individual counseling.
In addition, Project VISION, through its community work,
hosts or supports events such as block parties to
encourage a sense of neighborliness and community pride.
Project VISION depends on the generosity of
organizations, businesses, and individuals to be able to
small "pearl" grants. Local individuals or
organizations looking to assist Project VISION can
receive these grants of up to $1,000 for new programs or
for activities in collaboration with new partners.
The Rutland City Police Department have partnered with
the Vermont Center for Crime Victim Services and hired a
full-time Human Trafficking Case Manager who is providing
direct service case management to human trafficking
victims in southern Vermont.