"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.
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:49 PM EST2014-03-09 02:49:49 GMT
The Burlington Yoga Conference began Saturday at UVM's Davis Center. The event gives participants a chance to connect the mind body and soul through workshops they may not have access to on a daily basis.More >>
The Burlington Yoga Conference began 6 years ago and has become a staple in the community.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:29 PM EST2014-03-09 02:29:17 GMT
A warning for pet owners in our region. Coyotes are on the prowl. A biologist in New Hampshire says he has received more than 10 calls recently, in the Keene, New Hampshire area, for a deer that was takenMore >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:21 PM EST2014-03-09 02:21:44 GMT
As spring approaches, many Vermont homeowners prepare to work on their houses - so they head to the Burlington Home Show. And many Vermont small business owners - with their products and services on displayMore >>
Many business owners at the Burlington Home Show say the new health care system in Vermont is helpful, but some say it's causing a real headache.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:07 PM EST2014-03-09 01:07:08 GMT
A rally at the State House in Montpelier Saturday. A passionate group of dozens of women, and men, assembled in front of the State House Saturday for the Women's March for Dignity. They were demandingMore >>
Women's March for Dignity say they are demanding lawmakers support paid sick day policies for all workers.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:21 AM EST2014-03-08 15:21:27 GMT
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries. They were injured while fighting a at the Bennett Farm on Route 15 on the Johnson-Cambridge town line. The fire started in a shed around 7:30 FridayMore >>
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:42 GMT
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury. They immediately took to Facebook after hearing about this fire and started planning to collectMore >>
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:05 GMT
Reporter: "What are some of the most common burn injuries that we see with kids coming into the hospital?" Jim Esdon, Dartmouth Hitchcock Injury Prevention Center: "This time of year, the glass frontedMore >>
We've had another cold week that's left homeowners cranking the heat. But what does that mean for kids' safety?More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:19 AM EST2014-03-08 15:19:21 GMT
Armed with just two L rods, 87-year-old John Wayne Blassingame starts looking for water by asking yes or no questions. "Does it go past 20 feet, does it go past 30 feet, yah," he says. The rods crossingMore >>
A national organization based in Danville says it is providing resources to people in desperate need to find water.More >>