Seven Vermont towns get $1.3 million for new police hiring

first_imgHartford Police Department$182,324Milton Police Department$226,477Pittsford Police Department$212,742Rutland County Sheriff’s Department$153,110University of VT & State Agriculture College$204,501Vergennes Police Department$133,313Windsor Police Department$200,856Total:$1,313,323 Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Grants Awarded To Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) announced Wednesday that seven police departments across Vermont have been awarded grants through the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program.  The grants total more than $1.3 million to help law enforcement departments hire officers. ‘The COPS program has helped Vermont communities keep officers on the streets, which helps keep all Vermonters safe,’ said Leahy.  ‘These grants have helped law enforcement departments in Vermont and across the country for nearly 20 years.  The COPS program is an important partnership between the federal government and state and local law enforcement, and I will be working in Congress to ensure that we maintain our commitment to this successful program.’ Vermont communities have received nearly $46 million in grants from the COPS program since 1994.  More than 285 officers have been hired across Vermont as a result of these grants.  Grants awarded through the COPS Hiring program allow law enforcement agencies to hire or re-hire career officers.  The grants provide 100 percent funding for approved entry-level salaries and benefits for three years for newly-hired officers, or for re-hired officers who have been laid off as a result of local budget cuts.  The COPS program began in the 1990s, helping to put more than 100,000 new officers on the streets.  Leahy has worked in recent years to secure funding for the COPS program after its budget was cut during the Bush administration.  In 2009, Leahy successfully included $4 billion in the economic stimulus package for state and local law enforcement programs, including $1 billion for the COPS program.  Law enforcement departments in Hartford, Milton, Pittsford, Rutland County, Vergennes, and Windsor have been awarded COPS grants.  The University of Vermont & State Agriculture College has also been awarded a grant. Leahy is the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.  In recent years, he has focused part of the Committee’s work on examining the federal partnership with state and local law enforcement agencies.  He has chaired a series of Committee hearings in Vermont to highlight the state’s successful, community-based approach to fighting crime. last_img read more

Checking account growth – It’s go time!

first_imgIt’s go time!  New account activity peaks spring through fall, so now is the time to put your acquisition strategies in place.  Our client data shows a consistent national trend each year with new account openings.  The new account activity increases in early spring, the momentum created by tax returns and nicer weather. A second peak occurs between June and September, followed by the lowest period of activity in November and December.  Right now, we’re experiencing the first spike in activity, so it’s time to make sure systems are in place and strategies are aligned to get more than your fair share of new accounts.Each new member who enters your branch is a great opportunity.   This visit may be the most time you ever get to spend with them, so make it count.   It’s time to audit the experience of a new member.Roadmap/New Account ProcessHow is the time being spent?   Is there a roadmap to the conversation to ensure a good conversation flow and that all key areas are covered?  WorkflowAre employees leaving the member to scan, copy and print?  Are there any efficiencies you can add to reduce time on processes?New Account PersonnelIt can be tempting to rush through the process.  Remember the member drove to your location to open the account – they are seeking a financial advisor, not somebody who cursorily completes the paperwork. Is the employee confident and knowledgeable?  Do they ask questions to identify and understand the member’s needs so they can offer solutions?   Are they offering to assist with moving direct deposits and automatic payments?  Consider having a member of management open a new account on a regular basis to examine the process and determine if there could be an improvement in the member experience.It is during and after the account opening that you set yourself apart from the competition.   The onboarding process is key in building the relationship with the member.  How can you impress members during this critical time in your new relationship?Open Communication ChannelsEstablish communication channels with the new member.  How do they prefer future communication?  Do they prefer a phone call, email, text, or mail?   Young adults greatly prefer to send a text rather than to pick up the phone. If that option is available, it can facilitate drastically better communication.   More mature members may prefer a phone call.  If this is the case, which number and what time of the day is a good time to reach them?   Let the member know to expect future contact so it is expected.Send thank you notes shortly after account opening.   Have the relationship manager who opened the account write a personal note and mention something specific that was discussed during the new account process so the member feels valued and remembered.OnboardingHaving an onboarding strategy is just as important as having an acquisition strategy.   If the new account isn’t activated, you haven’t become their primary financial institution.   Onboarding starts with moving direct deposits over.  Offer to assist the member with this process and changing any automatic payments over to the new account. Check the member’s new account to see if there is debit card activity during the first 10 to 14 days.  If there is no activity, the new account personnel should verify the member’s new debit card was received and see if they need any additional assistance during a follow-up call.Switch kits just don’t work.  If the member uses automatic payments instead of bill pay, offer to get the actual forms they need for automatic withdrawals instead of a generic one.  It’s a good idea to have the major utility companies’ forms on hand to better assist with the process. Follow UpFollow up with a thank you note, phone call, and letter from management.   This personal connection makes the member feel that their business is valued and appreciated.Make note of future sales opportunities from your new account interview and follow up with the member.  If the member mentioned they had a CD maturing in early July, contact the member in late June with your rates and other investment options.  If the member mentioned they have a child needing a new car in the fall, contact them in late July with auto loan rates.  This kind of attention will set you apart from your competitors.  Members want to know they are important to you.Ask for referrals.  Don’t forget to ask these new members to refer their friends, family, and colleagues.  If you’ve provided exceptional service to your members, they won’t hesitate to make referrals. Focusing on all the little steps makes a big difference in getting the relationship and retaining memberships.  To maximize the opportunities during peak new account opening seasons, act now to ensure you have all the processes in place.  It’s go time!For assistance with digital referral programs, onboarding processes, and activation strategies around new and existing accounts, contact Velocity Solutions. 38SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Cindy J Draper Cindy J. Draper is a Retail DDA Strategist and Director of Training at Velocity Solutions. Cindy has over 20 years of experience in the banking industry. She has worked her … Web: myvelocity.com Detailslast_img read more

“Do not pick up nickels in front of the steamroller!”

first_img continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr It seems like every time a sudden and severe shock hits the financial markets, all the fancy hedge fund investment strategies that use monikers like, “Enhanced Return,” or “Alpha Plus” go from being perfectly fine to gone within a month. This has happened in the major market blow-ups in 1998, 2001, 2008, and 2020, with a few notable semi disasters (2002, 2013, 2016) thrown in between. Then, when the dust clears, investors are pulverized, and fund managers close up shop so as not to have to work the next 5 years for free to make up remaining investors’ losses.Naturally, with 2020 being easily the worst economic disaster to hit in nearly a century, the “Alpha” and “Enhanced” hedge fund story has been no different. Recently, one fund run by a very prominent money manager dropped a cool 75% in March. You almost have to try to lose 75% in a month, kind of like Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom in “The Producers.” Many other hedge funds have followed suit, only losing 25% or so. What we find is the same, old story. We find out that the managers with their rocket scientist degrees were, when it comes down to brass tacks, selling puts and calls on an index like the S&P 500 and collecting premiums every month –which was great until the market blew up. Sure, they may have been trading fancy things like “Skew Vol” vs. “VIX” or some other attributes with Greek letters, and no doubt, there were some cool algorithms, but in the end, it was simply selling volatility that blew them up. We call this, “The Picking up Nickels in Front of the Steamroller” strategy.So much of the selling volatility strategies are part of “The Fed has my back” approach to market investing. Let’s face it; the Fed has been supportive of risk for far too long. The increase in their support has been parabolic. This is what leads to long periods of declining volatility and price inflation for risk assets like equities and corporate credit. Pressure builds, as the degree of Fed support increases, and each blow-up tends to be more spectacular than the last. That is why, before the Fed and Treasury came in the markets in March with the message of, “Put the sell button down, we’re going to be buying everything!” the most liquid markets in the world, US Treasury and Agency Mortgage-Backed Securities markets were simply broken. Anyone who relied on leverage through borrowing was being margin called out of existence.last_img read more