Burlington City Council raises police officer cap

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Burlington City Council raises police officer cap

Tue, 10/19/2021 - 12:48pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Late Monday evening the Burlington City Council voted by a margin of 8-4 to raise the authorized cap of officers at the Burlington Police Department to 79 officers. With an additional 8 officers at the Airport currently, this action effectively raises the cap from 74 to 87 officers. 

The City Council had cut the number of police officers on June 30, 2020 as part of the "defund the police" movement following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis by a police officer on May 25, 2020.

However, the Burlington Police Department has seen officers leave and has been short-staffed. A previous effort to increase the number of sworn officers failed in a Council vote. A recent report indicated that the staffing levels should be increased.

Mayor Weinberger made the following statement after the Monday night vote: 

“The City Council acted correctly this evening in restoring the ranks of our police department to a functional and operational number of 87 officers, one shy of CNA’s maximum recommendation and squarely in the range I have been recommending through over a year of debate. It will take a long time to repair the grave decline of our public safety capacity that was initiated last June, but tonight’s action does send a positive message to our officers and the Burlington community that public safety and maintaining a viable department remain a shared goal of the Administration and the Council. 

"I commend the councilors who long stood behind a resourced and professional department for their fortitude, and I thank councilors Hightower and Stromberg for recognizing through their votes that our sworn officers are foundational to realizing our shared goals of a transformed, progressive public safety infrastructure in Burlington.” 

Source: Burlington, VT – Office of Mayor Miro Weinberger 10.19.2021