CONCORD, Vt. (AP) — Three Vermont towns have voted to increase payments to the Essex County Sheriff's Department in order to strengthen its presence in the area.

The Caledonian-Record reports voters in Concord voted to approve a pay hike during Town Meeting Day. Lunenberg and Maidstone approved higher law enforcement payments in their budgets Tuesday, while Guildhall's payment went unchanged. The payments will help cover the cost of a full-time officer in the region.

Sheriff Trevor Colby visited each town to ask for more funds. Colby says the department conducts special investigations on sexual assault and child abuse, patrols trails and handles DUI checkpoints.

Concord Select Board Chairman George Morehouse says the pay increase will help bolster patrols on the town's secondary roads where speeding is an issue.

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Information from: The Caledonian-Record, http://www.caledonianrecord.com