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Incoming Rutland County State's Attorney Is Already Planning Changes

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While she won’t take over as Rutland County State’s Attorney until Feb. 1, Rose Kennedy has already begun planning staffing changes and a citizen review panel for child abuse cases.";s:

Incoming Rutland County State's Attorney Rose Kennedy hasn't officially taken the helm from incumbent Marc Brierre yet, but that doesn't mean she hasn't gotten to work.

To unseat incumbent Brierre in November, Kennedy touted her experience as a prosecutor in Chittenden County, where she specialized in severe child abuse and sexual assault cases.

She promised voters in Rutland that if elected she’d do more to protect vulnerable children, and work more closely with local law enforcement and the Department for Children and Families.

Following her narrow victory in November, Kennedy says she’s now beginning her efforts to fulfill those promises.

And while she won’t take over as Rutland County State’s Attorney until Feb. 1, Kennedy has already begun planning staffing changes. She notified the most senior deputy prosecutor in the Rutland State’s Attorney’s office, Kevin Klamm, and victims’ advocate Cheryl Patch that their jobs would be terminated once Brierre leaves. Kennedy wouldn’t comment on the personnel changes.

"I hope to establish a citizen review panel here in Rutland County to give feedback to my office and law enforcement and DCF on how we're handling serious child abuse cases." - Incoming Rutland County State's Attorney Rose Kennedy

But she was willing to talk about on another initiative she wants to take. “I hope to establish a citizen review panel here in Rutland County to give feedback to my office and law enforcement and DCF on how we’re handling serious child abuse cases.” Kennedy says, “it’s something that I want to work on during this transition and have it up and running early next year.”

Kennedy says the recent report by the Citizen’s Advisory Board highlighted the need to provide better, citizen-driven, oversight of DCF Family services, the courts, guardians ad litem and others involved in the child protection system.

She believes Rutland County would benefit from a local version. “In my mind I would have representatives from the medical community, substance abuse community, school community and then average citizens - people who work with kids specifically and people just from the community who can provide thoughtful feedback.”

She says it’s too soon to know what kind of power such a committee would have, but she’s excited about the possibilities.

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