Vt. Crime Project Pays for Windshield Repairs

August 11, 2004

A new pilot project in Burlington, Vermont will give up to $250 to help cover the cost of a smashed car window as long as the smashing took place in the city.

The victim, who needn’t live in Burlington, must have a household income of less than $45,000 and car insurance that has a deductible of more than $250 or isn’t comprehensive.

The project is funded to the tune of $10,000 by the Vermont Center for Crime Victim Services in Waterbury and has helped 19 victims. It’s administered by the Community Justice Center in partnership with the Burlington Police Department and the Waterbury agency.

The project was the brainchild of Sharon Davis, a special projects coordinator for the victim service center and a former staff member of the First Response Team, a group of volunteers who help people affected by property crimes.

“As far as I know, this is the first program like this in the country,” Davis said.

Davis said the windshield program is funded from the victims agency’s “special funds,” which come from court fees.

The intent of the pilot program is to see how well the project works in Burlington and keep it user-friendly.

“What we’ve heard back from victims is that it isn’t complicated to use,” Davis said.

Cara Gleason, coordinator of the Community Justice Center, said victims can either make their own arrangements to have the window fixed — and be compensated later, if they meet the criteria — or get a voucher at the Community Justice Center that will be honored by The Windshield Doctor, a company specializing in such repairs.

She said the justice center receives “three or four” calls a week about car windows smashed by vandals.

Those wanting details about the project can call the Burlington Community Justice Center at (802) 865-7155.

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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