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July 30, 2017








July 30, 2017 / Waterbury, VT - Thomas D. Anderson, Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, and Colonel Matthew T. Birmingham, Director of the Vermont State Police, issued the following statement on the use-of-force by law enforcement.


All Vermont communities rightfully expect that law enforcement in Vermont will have an uncompromising commitment to principles of professionalism, including responsibility and compassion for all individuals with whom they come into contact.  This includes the general public, motorists, and those taken into custody for criminal activity. 


Under no circumstance is a police officer permitted to use force that is not reasonable or legally permissible.  All certified police officers in Vermont, including the Vermont State Police, receive extensive training on the proper use of force to ensure the prudent, reasonable and careful use of force under the circumstances.  The Vermont State Police also receive ongoing training on use of force, are required to report when force has been used, and face significant disciplinary penalties for the improper use of force or mistreatment of any person in their custody, up to and including dismissal. 


Statements by any public official condoning or encouraging the unreasonable use of force or the mistreatment of individuals in police custody are inappropriate and antithetical to professional policing and the mission of the Department of Public Safety. 




Scott Waterman

Vermont State Police Public Information Officer

802-241-5277 desk

802-279-4554 cell