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BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Voters in Burlington, Vermont, will soon decide on whether to join nearby towns to create a regional emergency dispatch system.

The Burlington Free Press reports the City Council approved the item Monday for next year’s Town Meeting Day ballot. Officials say the regional service could cut response times by 70 seconds.

Both the city police chief and fire chief say they support a unified dispatch service. Chiefs in nearby towns, including South Burlington and Colchester, also wrote in support of the system.

Several dispatchers questioned the plan, saying it could harm community policing and threaten jobs.

Other items approved for the ballot, include raising the smoking age from 18 to 21 and setting higher renewable energy goals.

The next Town Meeting Day is scheduled for March 6, 2018.


Information from: The Burlington Free Press,