Burlington City Council rejects police force increase

Despite a push to increase the number of Burlington police on patrol, city council votes no. However, two new community service liaisons or CSLs will be hired.
Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 6:32 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 10, 2021 at 7:13 AM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Despite a push to increase the number of Burlington Police officers on patrol, the City Council voted no on Monday to a Police Commission proposal. However, two new community service liaisons will be hired.

Last year, Burlington city councilors voted to cap the number of officers at 74 as part of defunding effort to allocate resources elsewhere. Following several recent shootings and other violent incidents, and concerns about staff shortages overnight, the Burlington Police Commission last week recommended raising the cap to 82 officers and hiring two CSLs.

Mayor Miro Weinberger supported the push to add new officers. He says the Burlington Department has already lost nearly 20 officers in about a year and that more than 50% of the officers still on the force are actively looking for a new job. “If that happens, we will cease to have a functional police department in the City of Burlington,” he said before the vote. “A vote against this resolution will seriously jeopardize the legacy of those reforms, our ability to make further advancements, and possibly, even the very viability of the Burlington Police Department.”

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