Vt. bills aim to boost police oversight, training - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vt. bills aim to boost police oversight, training

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By DAVE GRAM
Associated Press

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - Vermont lawmakers are considering two bills that backers say will boost the professionalism of police officers, but some law enforcement officials see them as meddling in their affairs.

One would require part-time officers to undergo the same 16 weeks of training that full-time officers get at the Vermont Police Academy.

The other would strengthen the authority of the Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council, which oversees the academy. The council would be able to hear allegations of professional misconduct and have the power to strip officers of their professional licenses.

Key lawmakers back the bills.

But Windham County Sheriff Keith Clark says part-time officers often have other jobs and can't get that much time off. And he says he fears the discipline measure would thwart his ability to manage his own officers.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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