Vermont Business Magazine The members of the Vermont State Police and Department of Public Safety Commissioner Michael Schirling said in a statement Friday afternoon that they unequivocally condemn the actions of police officers in Minneapolis that led to the death of George Floyd.
“What I have seen on video from the mishandled attempt to arrest George Floyd is beyond disturbing,” said Col. Matthew T. Birmingham, director of the Vermont State Police. “This kind of conduct has no place in policing. It goes against everything we are taught from our earliest days in training academies. It goes against our mission to protect and serve the public. It goes against our oath and our badge. It goes against human decency.”
In Vermont, the state police is committed to fair and impartial policing and has developed and implemented a comprehensive program to ensure equitable, just policing practices at all levels of the agency. These efforts include building relationships of trust with communities of color and other minority communities, diversifying our workforce and improving our cultural awareness as the state of Vermont continues to grow more diverse.
The Vermont State Police also trains to de-escalate all potential confrontations, use the least amount of force required when absolutely necessary, and render aid quickly to anyone in medical distress.
Additionally, state police leadership is explicitly clear that no law enforcement officer should ever stand idly by in the face of violence, misconduct or other inappropriate actions from their peers.
“Mr. Floyd’s death is a heartbreaking tragedy. My heart goes out to his family and the Minneapolis community, which is suffering greatly right now,” Governor Phil Scott said. “I join the Vermont State Police in their condemnation of the officers’ actions, and I appreciate that they’ve called attention to it, as well as their commitment to serving and protecting all Vermonters. I hope to see justice served and that we can move toward healing as a nation.”
The Vermont State Police is in the process of reviewing all policies and training procedures regarding use of force to ensure they are in line with best practices and account for the safety and well-being of the public and of the police.
“The public has every right to expect that the police will treat them with fairness, with respect, with compassion," said Capt. Garry Scott, the Vermont State Police’s director of fair and impartial policing and community affairs. “We have worked for years to forge relationships of trust with all communities we serve. We do this through openness and robust examinations of our data and our practices; by developing and implementing strong training programs to address bias in policing; and by ensuring continual, ongoing, honest communications. The public needs to know we stand with them.”
The members of the Vermont State Police send their deepest condolences the family, loved ones and friends of George Floyd and to people everywhere who are aggrieved by his death.
Source: WATERBURY, Vt. (Friday, May 29, 2020) — Vermont State Police