Vermont Police Academy to end drill that injured officers

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) The head of the Vermont Police Academy says the organization is going to stop using a training exercise that caused head and other injuries for some of the recruits who went through the program.

Richard Gauthier, the executive director of the Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council, which oversees that Pittsford Academy, tells Vermont Public Radio the decision to stop using the "hitchhiker drill" was made Monday, but it had nothing to do with the lawsuit filed by a Burlington police officer. He says that with all the attention focused on the drill, the element of surprise is lost.

Last week, Burlington Police Officer Erin Bartle sued the state of Vermont for head injuries she suffered while participating in the hitchhiker drill.

The council is also planning to review its training.

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