Police recruits gear up for Academy graduation

Published: Dec. 16, 2022 at 8:00 AM EST
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PITTSFORD, Vt. (WCAX) - Police recruits will trade their training gear for department badges as a new class is set to graduate from the Vermont Police Academy.

The 114th Basic Training class is wrapping up their 4-month training with a ceremony at the Academy in Pittsford Friday. It comes as new leadership, and the Vermont Criminal Justice Council has settled in with a goal of enhancing training and increasing transparency.

Former Vt. Attorney General Bill Sorrell is the chair of the council, which sets policy for the academy. He says they plan to ask lawmakers this upcoming session to fund a comprehensive audit of the training curriculum to find any gaps or ways to improve. “If they really want us to make real change, we need more resources, and we need some one-time resources to get expert help to guide us in making decisions on what the curriculum should be,” he said.

Meanwhile, recruits we spoke with say they’re ready to take on the job, and they shared why they chose to become a law enforcement officer. “I figured -- as cheesy as it sounds -- be the change that you want to see. That really motivated me to get in it,” said Burlington Police recruit Kegan Philbrick.

“I think a lot of people who are joining now understand the stigma and the negative aspect of law enforcement that the community perceives,” said Nicholas Kandra, a future South Burlington Police officer. “Coming in with that in mind, it kind of inspires some people, it motivates people to bridge that gap between the community and police.”

After graduation, the more than 40 new officers will continue training at their respective departments. Leaders at the academy then prepare for the next incoming class that begins in February.

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Vt. Police Academy to ask for comprehensive training review