Vermont police chiefs wary of Burlington’s police discipline proposal

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) – As the city of Burlington moves forward with a proposal to give a board of citizens the authority to discipline and fire police officers, including the chief, police chiefs in other jurisdictions worry that could negatively impact other departments in the state.

WCAX News spoke with Montpelier Police Chief Brian Peete and Barre City Police Chief Tom Bombardier for their reactions to the police discipline resolution, which the Burlington City Council approved 7-5 on Monday night, advancing it to public hearings in January.

“A lot of officers are looking at what happens in Burlington. The perception is what happens in Burlington is going to be mimicked in other places,” Peete said. “There’s general concern and I think officers are wanting to have these discussions and we want to do what we can to work on trust and legitimacy issues, but there’s great concern because it feels like the context in which this is happening— that it’s not going to be positive toward law enforcement.”

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