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Burlington City Council approves $10K bonuses for officers

Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 12:26 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 28, 2021 at 6:18 AM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - A plan to stabilize the Burlington Police Department is in the works after a vote from city councilors.

The unanimous decision puts nearly $1 million into helping the department hire and keep officers.

Right now, the Burlington Police Department has 65 deployable officers. According to a memo from the chief, the department accepted 16 resignations this year and hasn’t hired any new officers.

In a meeting Monday night, councilors approved a proposal to help. It will be funded through coronavirus relief aid.

Current officers will receive $10,000 spread out over two installments.

The first installment would be on Nov. 15.

New recruits would receive $15,000 each, also spread out in installments at training milestones.

While city councilors were united in their vote, people at the meeting were divided about the plan.

“It is a gross misuse of that money,” said Steven Margolin, a Burlington resident. “What we should be doing is funding public supports and systems that will enable us to address the concerns many of us have addressed today.”

“I came across an overdose victim in the middle of the day last week. I have to say thank god somebody was there to respond because this man would not have survived without the help of the Burlington Police Department,” said Kelly Devine, another Burlington resident.

Acting Burlington Police Chief Jon Murad expects another 10 officers will leave the force by next July, increasing the urgency to recruit.

We expect to learn more about the future of the department when a final consulting report is expected to be released later this week.

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