Vermont law enforcement agencies push reform plan

Published: Jun. 11, 2020 at 6:16 PM EDT
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Sweeping police reform is being introduced by Vermont law enforcement officials following the death George Floyd and subsequent nationwide protests over police brutality.

The proposed 10-point statewide plan released Thursday includes changes to hiring practices at law enforcement agencies and a new process for promoting and selecting supervisors. Police misconduct would be investigated with more transparency and consistency, and a statewide data collection system would be implemented for use of force, traffic stops and arrest information. All law enforcement would be required to wear body cameras.

Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan helped draft the changes and says they are long overdue. "We need to get it done and we need to restore the trust in law enforcement and we need to modernize how we police in the 21st century, which is really shrinking the footprint of law enforcement. And it's about building that trust and having more community interaction, not less, and doing things differently. Less force, more trust," he said.

Some of the other changes include new standards of review for allegations of police misconduct, looking for more ways to collaborate with the community, and implementing more community oversight.

Officials say many of the changes could be implemented in three to six months but it will all depend on the Legislature and community input. The law enforcement community is expected to make adjustments to the new policy after getting community feedback.