YCQM: May 5, 2019

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) CAPTIONING PROVIDED BY:
CAPTION ASSOCIATES, LLC.
WWW.CAPTIONASSOCIATES.COM.
>> DARREN: GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE, I'M DARREN PERRON.
RIGHT NOW ON "YOU CAN QUOTE ME," CHILD ABUSERS BUSTED.
CHANNEL 3 NEWS INVESTIGATES HOW POLICE PROVE IT USING MEDICINE TO GET THOSE ABUSERS CONVICTED.
PLUS A SITDOWN INTERVIEW WITH THE FORMER HEAD OF THE VERMONT STATE POLICE, JIM BAKER.
AND THAT'S WHERE WE BEGIN THIS MORNING.
JIM BAKER SPENT HIS LIFE TACKLING DIFFICULT CHALLENGES.
HE'S KNOWN ACROSS VERMONT AS MR. FIX IT WHEN IT COMES TO HELPING POLICE DEPARTMENTS GET THEIR RANKS IN ORDER, STEPPING IN TO SOLVE PROBLEMS.
AND HE RAN THE STATE'S LARGEST POLICE FORCE, THE STATE POLICE.
PLUS BAKER TOOK A HIGH PROFILE JOB IN WASHINGTON TO DEAL WITH NATIONAL POLICING ISSUES, BUT LEFT THAT POSITION TO ONCE AGAIN HELP HIS HOME TOWN.
HE'S DEDICATED HIS LIFE TO HELPING COMMUNITIES AND FIGHTING CRIME.
AND NOW HE'S IN THE FIGHT OF HIS LIFE.
>> YOU STILL GO BY COLONEL, WHY?
>> I DON'T GO BY COLONEL.
MY FRIENDS STILL, I GUESS IT'S A SHOWING OF REVERENCE, I DON'T KNOW.
AS YOU KNOW ME, DARREN, I TRY TO BE MODEST AND TRY TO REMEMBER WHERE I CAME FROM.
I WAS JUST VERY LUCKY TO BE THE COLONEL OF THE STATE POLICE.
SO I GUESS I DON'T MINE IT WHEN I'M REFERRED TO THAT, BUT I DON'T LIVE BY THAT.
>> DARREN: I'LL ALWAYS CALL YOU COLONEL.
>> I APPRECIATE THAT.
>> DARREN: A NUMBER OF YEARS IN LAW ENFORCEMENT.
GIVE ME YOUR RESUME.
>> I STARTED IN LAW ENFORCEMENT IN 1974 IN PUBLIC HOUSING IN TROY, NEW YORK, AND I WAS THERE THROUGH 1977.
THEN I RAN A NURSING HOME FOR ABOUT A YEAR AND WAS TESTING IN A BUNCH OF STATES AROUND NEW ENGLAND, MY DREAM WAS TO BE A TROOPER.
AND VERMONT WAS THE FIRST ONE TO CALL.
AND THE DAY I REMEMBER GOING UP FOR THE PHYSICAL FITNESS TEST AND I WAS NOT THE MOST AGILE PERSON, I'M STILL NOT, AND I LEFT THERE CONVINCED THAT I HAD FLUNKED THE P.T. TEST, AND THERE WAS A SERGEANT WHO WAS ADMINISTERING THE TEST THAT DAY, AND DENNIS WAS A LEGEND IN THE ORGANIZATION, AS I FIND OUT LATER, HE WAS A PATROL COMMANDER FOR A LONG TIME, A REAL HARD-NOSED MARINE.
HE MUST HAVE SAW SOMETHING THAT SOMEBODY ELSE DIDN'T SEE AND HE PASSED ME.
I WAS CONVINCED THAT DAY THAT I DIDN'T PASS.
SO THAT WAS 1978 WHEN I CAME TO THE STATE POLICE, AND THE --
IT'S HARD TO BELIEVE THAT JUNE OF THIS YEAR WILL BE 10 YEARS SINCE I RETIRED.
I LEFT THE STATE POLICE IN 2009 AS THE DIRECTOR.
THEN I TOOK PART OF A SUMMER OFF AND THE FIRST PHONE CALL CAME AT THE END OF THAT SUMMER, I STARTED DOING SCUTTING WORK FOR THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT IN WASHINGTON.
IT WAS TO THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CHIEFS OF POLICE, AND I WAS A CONSULTANT FOR THEM.
I DID THAT THROUGH THE FALL.
THEN IN DECEMBER OF 2009 I WAS IN MASSACHUSETTS, IN FACT, ON A PROJECT.
THEN THE COMMISSIONER CALLED ME, IT WAS A THURSDAY, JUST BEFORE, JUST BEFORE MARTIN LUTHER KING'S BIRTHDAY, SO IT WAS JANUARY OF 2010, AND HE ASKED ME IF I'D BE INTERESTED IN STEPPING IN IN AN INTERIM ROLE.
GOVERNOR DOUGLAS WAS MAKING THE REQUEST IF I WOULD COME INTO THE POLICE ACADEMY AND RUN IT BECAUSE THERE WERE SOME ISSUES.
AND THAT BEGAN MY JOURNEY AT THE POLICE ACADEMY.
THE DAY I GOT THE CALL, THE UNFORTUNATE TRAGEDY OF THE SUICIDE OF A STAFF MEMBER HADN'T HAPPENED YET.
I GOT CALLED ON A THURSDAY AND THAT HAPPENED ON A SATURDAY NIGHT.
I WALKED INTO THE ACADEMY ON THAT TUESDAY MORNING, BECAUSE MONDAY WAS A HOLIDAY, AND THAT'S WHERE I SPENT THE NEXT YEAR AND A HALF.
IT WAS --
THAT'S WHERE THE POLICE OFFICERS ARE TRAINED AND CERTIFIED IN THE STATE, IT WAS ON HONOR TO GO THERE.
SO I DID THAT UNTIL THE SUMMER OF '11, WENT BACK TO MY CONSULTING STUFF THROUGH THE SUMMER AND FALL.
AND MY PHONE RAIN AGAIN IN DECEMBER AND IT WAS JOHN SINCLAIR, WHO USED TO BE THE --
SAID THERE WAS A GENTLEMAN THAT WANTED TO TALK TO ME ABOUT THE CITY OF WALTON POLICE DEPARTMENT AND IF I COULD HELP HIM OUT AND I MET WITH LARRY A COUPLE OF TIMES AND DECIDED TO TAKE THE INTERIM ROLE STARTING IN JANUARY OF '12.
AND I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE THERE SIX MONTHS AND STAYED THREE YEARS.
I FELL IN LOVE WITH THE CITY, THE PEOPLE, FELL IN LOVE WITH THE DEPARTMENT.
AND I STAYED THERE THROUGH JANUARY OF 2015.
I DO THINGS IN THREES.
I WAS A COLONEL FOR THREE YEARS, I WAS IN ROWAN FOR THREE YEARS, AND THEN IN JANUARY I WAS HIRED BY THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF POLICES TO BE ON THEIR EXECUTIVE STAFF, IN VIRGINIA, AND I STAYED THERE THREE YEARS UNTIL 2018.
>> DARREN: YOU ALSO HAD A STINT IN MANCHESTER?
>> I DID.
I WAS RUNNING THE POLICE ACADEMY AND THE MANCHESTER POLICE DEPARTMENT AT THE SAME TIME FOR A PERIOD OF TIME, AROUND 2010.
AND I HELPED IN TRANSITION FROM THE OLD CHIEF TO THE CURRENT CHIEF THERE.
>> DARREN: LET'S TALK ABOUT WHY, YOU'VE BEEN THROUGHOUT YOUR CAREER, GETTING THE CALLS FROM THE GOVERNOR, FROM FOLKS WHO ARE SAYING, HEY, MR. FIX IT, COME DEAL WITH SOME PROBLEMS HERE, WHAT KIND OF PROBLEMS ARE WE TALKING ABOUT AT THE POLICE ACADEMY, AT THE RUTLAND P.D.?
>> I'VE ALWAYS BEEN CAREFUL IN ALL THESE SITUATIONS THAT I WAS ASKED TO COME INTO.
FIRST OF ALL, I DON'T KNOW WHY SOMEONE WAS CALLING ME.
I WAS KIDDING YOU BEFORE, I'VE NEVER FILLED OUT AN APPLICATION IN FACT, AT SOME POINTS PEOPLE SAY, CAN I HAVE YOUR RESUME, AND I DIDN'T HAVE A RESUME.
I DON'T KNOW WHY.
I THINK I WANT TO BE MODEST ABOUT THIS, BUT I THINK I'VE ALWAYS PRIDED MYSELF ON SOMEBODY THAT PEOPLE COULD DEPEND ON.
IF YOU ASK ME TO DO SOMETHING, I'M GOING TO GET IT DONE AND I'M GOING TO DO IT THE BEST WAY I KNOW HOW.
AND I ALSO UNDERSTAND THAT IN THAT PROCESS THAT YOU MAY NOT MAKE FRIENDS, BUT IN THE END IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU, IT'S NOT ABOUT MAKING FRIENDS, IT'S ABOUT THE INSTITUTION THAT YOU WERE ASKED TO PROTECT.
AND I GOT THAT I STILLED IN ME IN A LOT OF PLACES, FIRST OF ALL MY UPBRINGING FROM MY PARENTS, BUT ALSO ALL MY YEARS AT THE STATE POLICE.
COUNTLESS TEAMS AS A YOUNG TROOPER WHEN I THOUGHT I WAS THE SMARTEST OR THE BEST, SOMEBODY WOULD PUT ME IN MY PLACE BY REMINDING ME IT'S NOT ABOUT ME, IT'S ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION, IT'S ABOUT HOW YOU SERVE THE PEOPLE YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO SERVE.
SO I THINK THOSE CALLS CAME AS A RESULT OF ME UNDERSTANDING THAT.
TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION ABOUT, YOU KNOW, WHAT IT WAS IN THESE ORGANIZATIONS, I THINK THE MAJORITY OF THE TIME I WAS ASKED TO STEP INTO THOSE SITUATIONS, AND I'VE ALWAYS PRIDED MYSELF ON THAT, CALLING PEOPLE OUT THAT THERE WERE PRIOR.
BUT IT REALLY WAS A LACK OF LEADERSHIP AND ACCOUNTABILITY, AND PUTTING SYSTEMS IN PLACE THAT HELD PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE.
>> DARREN: WHAT'S YOUR PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT SOME OF THESE THINGS?
>> LOOK, I THINK MY PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT IS I'VE BEEN MARRIED FOR 45 YEARS TO A PERSON, I WISH SHE WAS WILLING TO COME HERE TODAY, I TRIED TO GET HER TO COME TO BE PART OF THIS, BUT SHE'S IN THE BACKGROUND, AND MY DEDICATION TO HER IS PROBABLY WHAT I'M THE PROUDEST OF.
AND I'M PROUD OF MY FAMILY, AND I HAVE SIX GRANDKIDS, AND I'M PROUD OF THE FACT THAT THEY HUNG IN THERE WITH ME THROUGH ALL THESE THINGS THAT I DID WHEN I WAS NEVER AROUND.
AND I WILL SAY THAT PROFESSIONALLY, A LOT OF THINGS RANK UP THERE.
THE THINGS I REMEMBER THE MOST ARE DEALING WITH THE FOLKS THAT WERE PROBABLY DOWN AND OUT THE MOST AT THE POINT THAT YOU DEALT WITH THEM.
AND WE WERE TALKING ABOUT THIS BEFORE WE STARTED THE INTERVIEW, BUT I THINK OF THINGS LIKE CARLY IN RUTLAND AND THE OPPORTUNITIES I HAD TO HAVE AN IMPACT ON THOSE CONVERSATIONS, AND I DO LOOK AT THE --
>> THE CARLY FARRELL CASE, OBVIOUSLY A HORRIBLE TRAGEDY WHERE A GUY WAS, HE KILLED A PERSON.
YOU WERE RECENTLY SELECTED TO WIN THE HOGAN AWARD.
TELL ME ABOUT THAT.
>> THAT'S AN INCREDIBLE HONOR.
I REMEMBER CON HOGAN PASSED AWAY JUST BEFORE I MET HIM.
I NEVER MET HIM.
MY TIME AT STATE G., CON WAS IN LEADERSHIP ROLES AND I WASN'T QUITE THERE YET INSIDE THE STATE POLICE, SO IT WOULDN'T BE LIKE I WOULD BANG INTO HIM AT MEETINGS, BUT I FOLLOWED HIS CAREER.
I REMEMBER WHEN HE RAN FOR GOVERNOR.
AND I ALWAYS ADMIRED HIM FROM A DISTANCE, NOT EVEN KNOWING HIM.
BECAUSE HE ALWAYS SEEMED LIKE SOMEONE THAT WOULD TAKE ON A CHALLENGE, TAKE THAT CHALLENGE, PUT SOME INFORMATION AND DATA TO IT AND FIGURE OUT A SOLUTION, AND HE WAS SOMEBODY THAT OFTEN GOT CALLED ONTO COME BACK AND HELP FIX A PROBLEM.
AND I HAD A GREAT DEAL OF RESPECT FOR THAT, AND I NEVER GOT A CHANCE TO MEET HIM.
I WAS SUPPOSED TO MEET HIM AT A LUNCHEON THE FOLLOWING THURSDAY AFTER HE PASSED AWAY ON THAT SUNDAY.
AND TO FIND OUT THAT I HAD BEEN, FIRST OF ALL TO FIND OUT THAT YOUR NAME IS MENTIONED IN WHAT WAS DESCRIBED, AND I'M PARAPHRASING HERE, ONE OF THE GREATEST PUBLIC SERVE ANTS OF OUR TIME, IS JUST A HUMBLING HONOR.
FURTHER MORE, THE FOLKS THAT HAD RECEIVED THE AWARD IN PREVIOUS YEARS CAME FROM WHAT I CONSIDER SOCIAL SERVICES BACKGROUNDS, DID REMARKABLE WORK.
AND I WAS THIS GUY THAT WAS IN LAW ENFORCEMENT THAT GOT SELECTED, AND I GOT THE CALL, I WAS ABSOLUTELY BLOWN AWAY AND SURPRISED.
AND AT THE SAME TIME VERY HUMBLED.
>> DARREN: YOU TALK ABOUT BEING IN LAW ENFORCEMENT.
BUT REALLY YOUR APPROACH TO LAW ENFORCEMENT, SPECIFICALLY WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT RUTLAND, THERE WAS SORT OF A SOCIAL ASPECT TO WHAT YOU BROUGHT TO THE TABLE.
>> RIGHT.
I THINK, I REMEMBER HAVING THIS CONVERSATION AS A YOUNG LIEUTENANT IN THE STATE POLICE, I WAS RUNNING THE BARRACKS IN BENNINGTON COUNTY AND WAS HAVING THIS CONVERSATION WITH A COUPLE OF MY COMMANDERS AT THE TIME AND I SAID TO THEM, I THINK 10 YEARS FROM NOW YOU WON'T RECOGNIZE LAW ENFORCEMENT.
I THINK IT'S MOVING TOWARDS MORE A SOCIAL SERVICE DELIVERY SYSTEM.
THESE WERE HARD CORE CONSERVATIVE GUYS THAT I WAS TALKING TO AT THE TIME, AND THEY KIND OF BLEW ME OFF A LITTLE BIT.
BUT I THINK WHEN I GOT THROUGH RUTLAND AND I SAW WHAT WAS GOING ON HERE IN THE STATE AND AROUND THE COUNTRY, THE DEPTH OF THE HEROIN PROBLEM, THE OPEN YACHT PROBLEM, WHEN YOU START UNDERSTANDING WHAT THE OPIATE PROBLEM WAS ABOUT.
I STARTED USING THE PHRASE THAT YOU WEREN'T GOING TO ARREST YOUR WAY OUT OF IT.
I GET A LOT OF CREDIT, I TALKED TO THE CHIEF ONCE IN A WHILE, THE CRIME RATE IS DOWN AGAIN LAST YEAR.
YOU GET A LOT OF CREDIT FOR THAT, BUT IT DOESN'T TAKE A ROCKET SCIENTIST TO FIGURE OUT IF YOU BRING TREATMENT INTO THIS, LIKE WHEN THE METHADONE CLINIC WAS OPENED IN RUTLAND AND YOU TAKE 300 PEOPLE THAT WERE ADDICTED OUT OF THE CIRCLES OF CRIME, YOUR BURGLARY RATE IS GOING TO GO DOWN.
SO I HAD KIND OF PUT THAT TOGETHER.
THE THING THAT'S FRUSTRATING FOR ME RIGHT NOW IN THE STATE AND THE COUNTRY IS THAT IT DOESN'T SEEM LIKE WE'RE MAKING GREAT PROGRESS ON THE OPIATE, WE CAN TALK ABOUT TREATMENT ON DEMAND, BUT WE'RE STILL LOSING A LOT OF PEOPLE EVERY YEAR.
I JUST BANGED INTO A WOMAN AT CHURCH LAST SUNDAY WHO I HADN'T MET BEFORE, WHO WAS TAKING CUSTODY OF A PREMATURE BABY THAT HER DAUGHTER HAD HAD WHO WAS ADDICTED.
A FRIEND OF ONE OF MY DAUGHTERS PASSED AWAY TWO YEARS AGO FROM AN OVERDOSE.
AND I'M JUST A LITTLE FRUSTRATED THAT NOT SO MUCH HERE IN VERMONT BECAUSE I KNOW THEY'VE PUT A LOT OF EFFORT INTO IT, BUT WE TALK A LOT AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL AND I JUST DON'T SEE IT.
I DON'T SEE PEOPLE REALLY UNDERSTANDING WHAT IT'S LIKE TO HAVE SOMEBODY IN YOUR FAMILY ADDICTED TO OPIATES AND STILL HAVE THE STIGMA ON THE OPIATES THAT SOMEHOW THAT WAS A CHOICE, BECAUSE IT'S NOT.
>> DARREN: WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE FROM A LAW ENFORCEMENT PERSPECTIVE FOR OUR POLICE IN VERMONT?
>> I'VE KIND OF BEEN, AND I DO THIS BY DESIGN, I TRY TO KEEP MYSELF ARM'S LENGTH FROM, I'VE ONLY BEEN IN STATE POLICE HEADQUARTERS TWICE SINCE I LEFT.
ONCE WAS FOR, I WAS DOING THE CONSULTING STUFF AS INFORMATION SHARING, A SECOND TIME I WAS THERE FOR A MEETING.
I'VE ALWAYS PRIDED MYSELF ON ONCE I TURN THAT PAGE I DON'T GO BACK.
I HAVE BEEN IN RUTLAND P.D. MORE OFTEN BECAUSE I'VE HELD A COUPLE OF MEETINGS THERE FOR OTHER STUFF THAT I'M DOING, SO I'M NOT THERE EVERY DAY.
BUT MY TIME IN D.C. GAVE ME A PICTURE OF ACROSS AMERICA WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE, IN FACT ACROSS THE WORLD.
AND I THINK THIS ISSUE OF MENTAL ILLNESS, THE OPIATE PROBLEM, THE SCRUTINY OF POLICE AND HOW DIFFICULT IT IS TO DO THE JOB, IS MAKING IT VERY CHALLENGING FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT TODAY.
AND AGAIN, POLICE ARE HUMAN BEINGS, THEY MAKE MISTAKES.
I THINK THE OTHER THING I GOT EXPOSED TO IN D.C. THAT I NEVER REALLY, COMING FROM VERMONT, IS I HAVE A MUCH BETTER UNDERSTANDING NOW OF THE HISTORY OF POLICING IN THE SOUTH, AND HOW THAT WAS TIED TO BIAS AND RACE AND JIM CROW.
AND I THINK WE'RE STILL LIVING WITH SOME OF THAT TODAY AND IT'S GOING TO TAKE A WHILE FOR THAT RECONCILIATION TO HAPPEN.
>> DARREN: YOU'RE FACING YOUR OWN PERSONAL CHALLENGE RIGHT NOW, TOO.
IN A BATTLE AGAINST CANCER.
>> I AM.
>> DARREN: TELL ME ABOUT THAT.
>> WELL, I'M VERY BLESSED, DARREN, I'M BEING TREATED AT SLOANE KETTERING IN NEW YORK CITY.
THE DOCTOR THAT'S TAKING CARE OF ME IS PROBABLY ONE OF THE LEADING EXPERTS ON RENAL CANCER IN THE CANCER, SO I'M IN A VERY BLESSED PLACE.
BUT I WAS DIAGNOSED ON DECEMBER 6 OF 2017.
I HAD JUST STARTED THE TRANSITION FROM WORKING AT ICPA AND DECIDED IT WAS TIME TO MOVE ON, AND THE COMMUTE WAS GETTING OLD AND I WAS GETTING OLDER AND IT WAS TIME TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT.
AND I WAS HAVING SOME MEDICAL PROBLEMS THAT PRESENTED ITSELF AND THROUGH A COUPLE OF DOCTOR VISITS AND THEN A CAT SCAN IT WAS DISCOVERED THAT I HAVE RENAL CANCER.
AND I HAD A SOFTBALL SIZED TUMOR ON THE TOP OF MY LEFT KIDNEY.
AND THEN ON DECEMBER 21 IN 2017 MY KIDNEY AND TUMOR WERE REMOVED, BUT THE CANCER HAD METASTASIZED TO MY LUNGS AND I HAD TO DEAL WITH THAT AFTER THE SURGERY.
AND I'M ON A TARGETED IMMUNE THERAPY TRIAL THAT IS HAVING REMARKABLE RESULTS, AND I FEEL VERY HEALTHY.
EXCEPT FOR ONE ISSUE THAT I HAVE TO DEAL WITH NEXT WEEK ANOTHER SURGERY.
>> DARREN: WE CERTAINLY WISH YOU WELL.
>> I APPRECIATE THAT, THANK YOU.
>> DARREN: THIS HASN'T SLOWED YOU DOWN, THOUGH.
YOU HAVE YET ANOTHER ROLE IN HELPING A COMMUNITY, YOUR COMMUNITY HERE IN ARLINGTON.
>> YES.
I KIND OF GO TO THAT, YOU KNOW, TO WHOM MUCH HAS BEEN GIVEN YOU HAVE TO GIVE A LOT BACK.
SOME OF MY FRIENDS WHO OFTEN SAY TO ME WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO GIVE UP, AND I GUESS IT'S NOT IN MY D.N.A.
THE SITUATION THAT I'M PARTICIPATING HERE IN ARLINGTON, THE RENEWAL PROJECT, IT'S A VERY SIMILAR SITUATION TO ALL THE OTHER PHONE CALLS I GOT.
I WAS WORKING IN MY MINE AT THE TIME, THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CHIEFS OF POLICE, WAS GETTING TO THE POINT WHERE THE WEEKLY COMMUTE TO D.C. WAS CHALLENGING AND I WAS THINKING ABOUT A TRANSITION PLAN TO COME BACK, IT WAS BEFORE I WAS DIAGNOSED.
AND A COUPLE FOLKS HERE IN ARLINGTON REACHED OUT TO ME, WANTED TO MEET WITH ME AND THEY HAD CLEARED AWAY THE --
WHAT REALLY WAS THE TIPPING POINT WAS JUST A GUILTY PLEA LAST WEEK BY TIMMY BUTLER IN THE MRS. JONES HOMICIDE THAT SHOOK THIS COMMUNITY.
AND THEY WERE LOOKING FOR SOMEONE TO CARRY OUT A VISION AND A PLAN THAT HAD BEEN PUT ON PAPER TO TRY TO REVITALIZE THE COMMUNITY, AND I SAW IT AS A GOOD OPPORTUNITY TO COME BACK.
SO I DO THAT A COUPLE DAYS A WEEK NOW.
AND GREATLY SUPPORTED BY A COMPANY HERE IN TOWN.
AND I'M FINDING THE WORK TO BE FAIRLY INTERESTING OUTSIDE OF WHAT I HAD DONE IN LAW ENFORCEMENT.
ALTHOUGH IT HAS A VERY DIRECT CONNECTION TO PROJECT VISION.
>> DARREN: SOME PEOPLE MAY BE LIKE, OKAY, COLONEL, TIME TO FOCUS ON YOUR HEALTH, THOUGH.
YOU ARE STILL LOOKING AFTER YOUR COMMUNITY, WHEN YOU'RE IN A PRETTY SERIOUS BATTLE RIGHT NOW.
>> I AM.
BUT YOU KNOW WHAT, I'M DOING FINE.
IT'S NOT IN MY D.N.A. JUST TO SIT BACK AND NOT CONTRIBUTE TO MAKE SOMETHING BETTER.
AND I GOTTA TELL YOU, DARREN, I'VE MELT A LOT OF PEOPLE ON MY JOURNEY THROUGH THE LAST YEAR AND A HALF.
WHEN I GO TO NEW YORK AND I SIT IN THE CLINIC WAITING FOR MY INFUSION OF THE MEDICATION, AND I LOOK AROUND THE ROOM AT PEOPLE THAT ARE THERE, THAT ARE STRUGGLING IN LIFE WITH SOME OF THE SIMILAR THINGS THAT I'M FIGHTING, AND THEY'RE ALL KIND OF SIMILAR SITUATION BECAUSE IT'S A RENAL CANCER CLINIC THAT I GO TO.
IT'S WHEN I GO TO MY CAT SCANS EVERY EIGHT WEEKS AND WHEN I HAVE MY COMPLETE WORKUP EVERY SIX MONTHS, I'M BLESSED, MY SITUATION IS CONTAINED.
I DON'T KNOW WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS, I DON'T THINK ANY OF US KNOW WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS.
BUT WHEN I GO FOR THE CAT SCANS AND THERE'S THAT 12-YEAR-OLD LITTLE GIRL SITTING THERE, SHE'S GOT NO HAIR AND WEARING A SKULL HALT BECAUSE SHE'S LOST HER HAIR BECAUSE OF CHEMO, ESPECIALLY ON THE DAYS WHEN I'M FEELING A LITTLE SORRY FOR JIM BAKER, IT'S LIKE WHO AM I AT THE AGE OF 63 TO BE COMPLAINING ABOUT MY PLACE IN LIFE WHEN A 12-YEAR-OLD IS FIGHTING THE FIGHT OF HER LIFE.
AND IT'S KIND OF ENERGIZED ME IN KIND OF A DIFFERENT WAY, AND IT'S ENERGIZED ME TO THE POINT WHERE I WANT TO GIVE BACK AS LONG AS I CAN.
AND THERE WILL COME A TIME.
MY WIFE AND I TALK ABOUT THIS OFTEN, IT WILL COME A TIME WHEN I DECIDE THAT INSTEAD OF GOLFING EVERY THIRD WEEK THAT I'LL TRY TO GOLF THREE TIMES A WEEK.
SOME PEOPLE SAY YOU ALL THE TO BE DOING IT NOW BEFORE YOUR HEALTH FAILS, AND I UNDERSTAND THAT.
BUT I'VE BEEN GIVEN THESE OPPORTUNITIES TO GIVE BACK AND AS LONG AS I'M ABLE TO GIVE BACK I'M GOING TO GIVE BACK.
>> DARREN: THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE AND THANKS FOR TALKING WITH US.
>> THANK YOU.
>> DARREN: COMING UP NEXT, INVESTIGATORS RELY ON MEDICINE TO HELP SOLVE CHILD ABUSE CASES IN VERMONT.
CAT VIGLIENZONI LOOKS INTO THAT AS CHANNEL 3'S "YOU CAN QUOTE ME" CONTINUES.
>> DARREN: CHILD ABUSE CASES ARE ON THE RISE IN VERMONT.
BUT STATES ARE INCONSISTENT IN THE WAY THEY COUNT CHILD ABUSE CASES IF THEY COUNT THEM AT ALL.
THAT MAKES IT EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TO GET A HANDLE ON THE PROBLEM, LET ALONE FIX IT.
OUR NATIONAL INVESTIGATIVE TEAM FOUND THAT IN 2017, VERMONT REPORTED ZERO CHILD ABUSE OR NEGLECT CASES TO FEDERAL AUTHORITIES THAT ENDED IN DEATH.
THE CHILDREN'S ADVOCACY INSTITUTE IN WASHINGTON D.C. SAYS SHE DOESN'T BELIEVE THAT FOR A SECOND.
IN VERMONT, WE WERE ABLE TO FIND SOME NUMBERS ON CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT.
THE U.V.M. MEDICAL CENTER SAYS THE PROBLEM HAS INCREASED 60% STATEWIDE SINCE 2012.
PART OF THAT MAY BE DUE TO BETTER REPORTING OF INCIDENTS AND THE OPIOID CRISIS.
IN VERMONT'S LARGEST COUNTY, THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF CASES OF CHILD ABUSE EACH YEAR, MANY OF THEM LAND IN THE HANDS OF INVESTIGATORS WITH THE CHITTENDEN UNIT FOR SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS.
OF THE NEARLY 400 CASES THEY HANDLED LAST YEAR, NEARLY 300 INVOLVED CHILDREN.
DIGGING DEEPER INTO THOSE, ABOUT 50 WERE INVOLVING CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 6, 60 CASES WERE AGES 7 TO 12, AND TEENAGERS WERE ABOUT 170 OF THOSE.
CAT VIGLIENZONI FOUND OUT HOW THOSE CASES GET TO THEIR INVESTIGATORS AND HOW THEY PROVE CHILD ABUSE HAPPENED.
>> REPORTER: NORMALLY IN A LAW ENFORCEMENT BILLION YOU WON FIND A ROOM FULL OF STUFFED ANIMALS.
>> WE WANT KIDS TO FEEL SAFE.
>> REPORTER: BUT THE UNIT FOR SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS ISN'T NORMAL.
POLICE, THE DEPARTMENT FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES, OR THE HOSPITAL REFER CHILD ABUSE CASES HERE WHEN THEY NEED SPECIALIZED INVESTIGATORS.
DOES A CASE HAVE TO BE MORE SERIOUS TO END UP WITH YOU?
>> YES, WE TEND TO HANDLE THE MOST SERIOUS CASES.
>> REPORTER: IF THE DIRECTOR DECIDES THE CASE IS APPROPRIATE FOR THEM, THEY'LL TAKE IT OVER.
INVESTIGATORS SIT DOWN WITH THE YOUNGEST CHILDREN IN THESE SMALL CHAIRS FOR RECORDED INTERVIEWS THAT FOLLOW VERY SPECIFIC GUIDELINES.
>> BECAUSE WE DON'T WANT TO MAKE IT APPEAR OR SEEM LIKE KIDS ARE BEING FORCED TO TELL US SOMETHING OR COERCED TO TELL US SOMETHING.
>> REPORTER: HE SAYS IT'S IMPORTANT TO GET DOWN AT THE CHILD'S LEVEL.
>> IT'S IMPORTANT BECAUSE YOU WANT TO RELATE IN A FASHION OF MAKING THEM FEEL COMFORTABLE.
THEY'RE COMING AND HERE AND TALKING TO A STRANGER WHO IS TRYING TO FIND OUT IF SOMETHING BAD IS HAPPENING TO THEM, SO YOU WANT TO MAKE THEM FEEL AS COMFORTABLE AS YOU CAN.
>> REPORTER: BUT INTERVIEWS ARE ONLY ONE INVESTIGATIVE TOOL.
ANOTHER IS THE OPINION OF A CHILD ABUSE MEDICINE SPECIALIST.
>> THE INJURY IS NOT MATCHING TO WHAT THE STORY IS BEING SAID, AND THAT RAISES A LEVEL OF SUSPICION.
>> REPORTER: FIGURING OUT IF THE INJURY AND THE STORY MATCH IS A JOB FOR DR. METZ.
THE UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT MEDICAL CENTER PEDIATRICIAN SPENDS MOST OF HIS TIME ON CHILD ABUSE CASES.
>> IT'S TOUGH.
IT'S KIND OF THE UNDER BELLY OF MEDICINE THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE DON'T KNOW ABOUT.
>> REPORTER: AND THERE AREN'T MANY DOCTORS WHO SPECIALIZE IN THAT ARENA.
DR. METZ WAS HIRED LAST YEAR TO FILL THE NEED IN VERMONT.
WE ASKED WHAT HE LOOKS FOR WHEN ASSESSING A CASE.
>> IT'S COMPLICATED.
BASICALLY THERE'S A BUNCH OF RED FLAGS THAT WE LOOK FOR, WHETHER THE DEVELOPMENTAL AGE OF THE CHILD IS APPROPRIATE FOR THE INJURY.
IF THE STORY CHANGES A LOT, IF THE INJURY DOESN'T MATCH THE MECHANISM.
>> REPORTER: INJURIES LIKE BRUISES, BROKEN BONES AND MORE.
WHEN DR. METZ AND HIS TEAM MAKE THEIR FINDING, IT WINDS UP AS A PIECE OF EVIDENCE IN THE CASE, SOMETIMES A BIG ONE.
>> ALTHOUGH THEY ARE SEPARATE ENTITIES WORKING TOGETHER, IT PROVIDES US WITH A VALUABLE RESOURCE OF THAT PHYSICAL EVIDENCE TO QUESTION IF WE NEED TO QUESTION A SITUATION.
>> DARREN: CAT JOINS ME NOW.
GOOD MORNING TO YOU.
>> GOOD MORNING.
>> DARREN: SO DID THE DOCTOR AT ALL ADDRESS WHAT CAUSES CHILD ABUSE IN THE FIRST PLACE?
>> HE DID.
SO DR. METZ TALKED ABOUT THAT, SAYS THERE'S A WHOLE HOST OF REASONS, MANY ARE SOCIAL FACTORS, THINGS LIKE POVERTY.
BUT OTHER ISSUES LIKE THE OPIOID CRISIS CAN LEAD TO CHILD NEGLECT.
WE DO HAVE A LINK TO THAT BLOG POST ON OUR WEBSITE IF YOU WANT TO READ MORE ABOUT THAT.
>> DARREN: ARE WE ACTUALLY SEEING MORE CASES OF CHILD ABUSE THOUGH?
>> THAT'S THE BIG QUESTION, AND BOTH MEN AGREED ON ONE THING WHEN I ASKED THAT QUESTION.
>> I'M NOT SURE THAT THE INCIDENTS IS REALLY GROWING, BUT WE'RE RECOGNIZING IT MORE AND PAYING MORE ATTENTION TO IT.
AND WE'RE CATCHING IT EARLIER.
SO SMALL, SUBTLE INJURIES ON CHILDREN LIKE SMALL BRUISES ARE COMING TO OUR ATTENTION MUCH MORE OFTEN.
>> PEOPLE ARE MORE AWARE, THERE'S MORE CONTACT WITH CHILDREN AND THESE THINGS ARE BEING DISCUSSED BECAUSE CHILDREN ARE GOING TO, IF CHILDREN ARE BEING ABUSED AT HOME, THERE'S A CHANCE THAT THEY'RE GOING TO DISCLOSE TO SOMEBODY ELSE, AND IT'S GOING TO BE A TEACH ARE OR A DOCTOR, OR A SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER, AND MAKING THOSE CONNECTIONS WITH ALL THOSE INDIVIDUALS, GIVES US A BETTER OPPORTUNITY TO GET THAT INFORMATION AND HOPEFULLY BE ABLE TO INTERVENE AND SAVE SOMEBODY.
>> WITH MORE MANDATORY REPORTERS IN THE STATE, THAT ALSO HELPS THEM CATCH MORE CASES OF CHILD ABUSE.
SO THEY'RE NOT SURE IF THERE ARE MORE KIDS BEING ABUSED, OR WE'RE JUST BETTER AT GETTING TO THEM.
>> DARREN: OBVIOUSLY THESE ARE VERY DIFFICULT CASES TO DEAL WITH.
HOW DO THEY HANDLE THAT?
>> RIGHT.
SO NO QUESTION, THESE ARE SOME OF THE TOUGHEST CASES THAT INVESTIGATORS HAVE TO WORK WITH, SO I DID ASK WHAT IT TAKES.
DOES THE JOB GET TO YOU?
>> I THINK ANYTHING CAN AT TIMES, IT EBBS AND INS.
BUT THE PEOPLE THAT ARE HERE ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT THESE TYPES OF CASES, PASSIONATE ABOUT HELPING VICTIMS, HELPING CHILDREN.
AND IT'S NOT FOR EVERYBODY.
>> HE DID SAY PART OF HIS JOB IS, AS THE SUPERVISOR, IS TO CHECK IN ON HIS OFFICERS AND MAKE SURE THAT THEIR MENTAL HEALTH IS OKAY.
AND THEY DO ROTATE WHICH OFFICERS ARE ASSIGNED TO COUZY, BECAUSE THEY KNOW THESE CASES ARE VERY DIFFICULT.
>> DARREN: CAT, THANK YOU VERY MUCH, APPRECIATE YOUR TIME THIS MORNING.
AND THANK YOU ALL FOR WATCHING.
THE CHANNEL 3 NEWS CONTINUES NEXT HERE ON THE WEEKEND.
SCOTT FLEISCHMAN IS STANDING BY.
HAVE A GREAT SUNDAY, EVERYBODY.