"We've taken the entire process and smashed it and we're in the process of putting it back together," Rutland City Police Chief James Baker said.
A major overhaul for the way things are run at the Rutland City Police Department. Baker says it's not one particular incident. Years of scandal rocked the department, from officers viewing porn on the job to an officer caught on video shooting a shackled prisoner with a pellet gun to an internal review showing improper handling of evidence.
"It's pretty well documented that we've had some very negative stuff go on here," Baker said. "As a result of digging deeper into that, I believe that some of that is the way the department is structured."
One of the major parts of this reconstruction-- bringing in Special Officer David Covell last month, who came out of retirement to work for the Rutland PD after 25 years with the Vermont State Police.
"I think anybody who retires from law enforcement re-evaluates what they want to do and I was very excited when I was approached with this opportunity and a lot of things that are happening here with this city and with the police department," Covell said.
Baker says one of Covell's roles as senior policy adviser is to help identify best practices, particularly in the criminal division. This is part of an overall plan to allow more innovative ideas to be shared and more responsibility for shift commanders.
"I think that for a long time there wasn't enough decision making pushed down to lower levels, that all the decision-making was being done by the command staff," Baker said.
Although Baker says this is a major overhaul, he says not much will change about who is working at the police department; no hiring or reduction in staff is expected.
Baker says the overall goal is to develop the future leaders of the force and encourage the entire staff to develop ideas on how to improve the overall quality of life in Rutland.
"It will support people in the department to be innovative on their own to bring ideas forward on how to better police the community," Baker said.
Baker says they are having more meetings with a facilitator to get feedback this month. They hope to have a completely new structure to present by March.
Thursday, April 17 2014 5:52 PM EDT2014-04-17 21:52:21 GMT
Police say two people found dead at a home in Stowe are believed to have died in a murder-suicide. Police are still not releasing their names or the cause of death, but they say the victims are adults. StoweMore >>
A Stowe couple is dead after what police say was a murder-suicide. The news came as a shock to neighbors who say they never noticed any red flags. More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 6:01 PM EDT2014-04-17 22:01:29 GMT
A man charged with shooting his neighbor and two Vermont State Police officers was in court Thursday in Middlebury. Timothy Foley did appear in court Thursday in Middlebury. He wasn't there last time,More >>
A man charged with shooting his neighbor and two Vermont State Police officers was in court Thursday in Middlebury.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:26 AM EDT2014-04-17 15:26:34 GMT
A 79-year-old woman accused of causing the death of a motorcyclist in Vermont last year has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless or negligent operation and has received a suspended sentence of six to...More >>
A 79-year-old woman accused of causing the death of a motorcyclist in Vermont last year has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless or negligent operation and has received a suspended sentence of six to 12 months.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 12:05 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:05:16 GMT
A teenager has been arrested for making a bomb threat in St. Albans. Police say the threat was made to Project SOAR, an alternative school, Wednesday morning. The building was searched and no bomb wasMore >>
Police say a teenager has been arrested for allegedly making a bomb threat to an alternative school in St. Albans.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 12:05 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:05:01 GMT
A missing elderly woman from Rutland has been found safe in Burlington. Police say Grace Maddaloni, 88, disappeared Wednesday after what they called a "disagreement." Because of her age and being in theMore >>
A missing elderly woman from Rutland has been found safe in Burlington.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 12:04 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:04:45 GMT
Darn Tough appears to be making a darn good profit. The high-end sock manufacturer out of Northfield reports the first quarter of this year was its best ever, with revenues up almost 80 percent over theMore >>
Vermont sock manufacturer Darn Tough reports the first quarter of this year was its best ever.More >>