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Burlington city councilors look to clarify role of police commis - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Burlington city councilors look to clarify role of police commission

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

City leaders in Burlington want to clarify the role of the Police Commission.

"For thirty years, I've had the same experiences that are not that great. It's disheartening," said Liz Curry, Ward 3 school commissioner.

Mayor Miro Weinberger, D-Burlington, and Police Chief Brandon del Pozo agree that revisiting the commission's responsibilities is a good idea. They favor a system where an advisory commission has an increased role reviewing allegations against employees and recommends discipline similar to the way investigations are handled by the Vermont State Police.

"I think that they deserve to see the inner mechanics of our investigation so they can say with full confidence that they were appropriate investigations. But like any other government department-- really in the entire state for that matter-- I think the ultimate authority to discipline should lie with the department head," del Pozo said.

The chief says this is the most efficient approach, but some city councilors and members of the commission think there needs to be more public outreach before any final decisions are made.

"We need some kind of process for bringing the community into this conversation," said Selene Colburn, P-Burlington City Council.

"I want to make sure we absolutely get it right and don't just copy something because it's out there," said Sarah Kenney, the chair of the Burlington Police Commission.

The mayor and police chief were not at Thursday night's meeting. Staffers say they plan to share feedback from the forum with their bosses and will continue the conversation with the committee about how to move forward in the upcoming months. 

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