Burlington police chief reveals shootings, car thefts in 2022 are up five-fold

Dr. Jeffrey Kaufman

DOING MORE WITH LESS: Burlington Police Chief Jon Murad told the Police Commission Tuesday evening that the police department has to try to do more with less resources.

Burlington Police Chief Jon Murad gave his monthly report at Tuesday evening’s Police Commission meeting, and once again he discussed trying to run the department effectively amid staff depletion and rising crime.

For one thing, Murad reiterated that shootings and car thefts have increased significantly compared to past years.

“We had a shooting at the Shelburn Road Shopping Plaza where Market 32 is on August 11,” Murad said. “We had a double shooting on August 13 in the very early morning hours. We had an officer-involved shooting, the Vermont State Police came to assist with bar closings and so that was a very, very busy weekend on top of a very busy and very stressful week for a lot of the individuals inside of the department.”

The chief continued to emphasize that serious crimes such as car thefts and shootings are rising in the city.

“There is a graphic in the chief’s report that shows the volume that we’ve experienced for the past several years … I think it’s shocking, it’s a shocking graphic, it shows the increase in overall [crimes], the increase in incidents in which people are struck, the increase in homicides now and the increase in incidents where we know that people are shooting at one another.”

Data comparing the usual five-year averages with the 2022 crime stats show that gun fire incidents and stolen vehicles are each up by at least 500%. This data appears on the eighth page on the chief’s report.

Murad said there are more incidents where it’s highly suspected that people were shooting at each other, but it cannot always be proven and recorded as such.

“A case in point would be last night’s incident, we do believe that they were shooting at each other, but we don’t enough proof of that yet to know for sure,” he said.

No to 12-hour shifts, yes to more Community Service Officers

Murad made clear he has little enthusiasm for shifting to a 12-hour shift model for his officers.

“There would be an additional penalty to the hourly rate if we were to go to a 12-hour shift,” he said. “That is something therefor that we would have to put a lot of thought into doing before doing in, it would in inordinately expensive for the city.”

He also shared the latest on their utilization of CSOs (Community Service Officers) who are able to help with many non-violent crimes and help alleviate these shortages.

“We’ve had the six CSOs for quite some time now, they are managed by a Seargent who has responsibility for them as a group but on an individual day by day basis they are part of the deployment … Normally the officer in charge is a lieutenant, but on occasion the officers in charge are sergeants.”

The department had 92 officers on staff as the City Council voted to reduce its officer staff by a third back in June of 2020, now they are at 61 officers.

Help is coming, and more shootings

Some help is on the way. Murad said he’s got three new officers who will be at the police academy for the next 17 weeks and then they can join the much-depleted Burlington Police Force.

On Aug. 18, the same night that these new hires as well as officer promotions were being celebrated by the police and their families, more shootings put them back to work.

“Then that same night we had a shooting at the skate park, we had another gun fire incident last night. In the small hours we had a very significant assault on a police officer on Aug. 20 who got some significant eye injuries,” he said.

Local EMT says officers didn’t let him observe an arrest

During the public comment section local resident and trained EMT Jacob Schumann shared that he identified himself to some officers during the arrest and pinning down of a suspect regarding an incident occurring on Aug. 14. Schumann said that he offered to observe and see if his services might be needed but the officers responded only by asking him to leave.

He thought that was a poor decision.

“Given that there was no medical oversight while somebody was being restrained which we know poses risks to physical safety and health wellbeing, I would ask that the department and commission consider when professionals identify themselves during the course of a situation and present their credentials, that they not be asked to leave because they are perceived as being critical of the force or what the force is doing,” Schumann said.

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North. Send him news tips at bielawski82@yahoo.com and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Image courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Kaufman
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8 thoughts on “Burlington police chief reveals shootings, car thefts in 2022 are up five-fold

  1. A majority of Chittenden County voter spoke loud and clear that they are quite satisfied with the job performance of State’s Attorney Sarah George. These crime statistics are astounding and the criminals are apparently only victimizing non-voters and those who voted for her opponent in the primary. Anyone who has been a crime victim recently would have to be seriously mentally challenged to vote for her.

  2. When I grew in Montpelier, Vermont, no one ever locked their doors on their houses or even locked their cars. You could walk the streets at midnight with no fear about being robbed or attacked. You could leave your car on East State Street with the doors unlocked, the keys in the ignition, and your wallet on the front seat with a $100 dollar bill sticking out of it, and NO ONE would steal anything. Someone in the store where you were might tell you that you should go get your wallet, but no one would take anything. Today, someone would steal everything, including your car if you did the same thing. Sad.

  3. So let me start I have personally known two of Burlington’s Chiefs Art Carron, and
    Richard Beaulieu, and I applaud Police Chief Jon Murad for his dedication to dealing
    with the out-of-control lawlessness, and also dealing with the ” Feckless ” City Council,
    this gaggle of fools and their agenda has caused all the turmoil within the City, they
    should be run out of town !!

    The Mayor needs to stand up, he’s supposed to be a leader, and Sarah George needs
    to hold these lawbreakers accountable, forget her feel-good policies on crime, and show
    the City you are a prosecutor, not a social worker !!

    Burlington Property owners should stop paying their ” Inflated ” property taxes until the
    shooting and crime stops…………. But you vote these fools in !!

  4. Murad’s devotion and integrity to his profession is more than admirable. To report to a city council that has repeatedly shown it’s distain and hatred for the police- and do the work required to rebuild what the city council destroyed is a monumental task. That Murad still works for Burlington is surprising, he could go anywhere- undoubtedly for more money and job satisfaction.
    This and the previous Burlington City Council should be an embarrassing disgrace to every Burlington resident. The damage inflicted upon Burlington, it’s residents and to Vermont as a whole by these petulant socialist children has become evident to anyone with open eyes and the ability to reason.

  5. Burlington Police are doing all possible, faithfully, to the very best of their ability.

    Chittenden County “Prosecutor” acts like a social worker, “giving gun wielding murderers another chance”,
    same as last week !! Drugs, drug money, stolen guns, and easy pickings in Vermont for criminals.

    Lets fill our crowbar hotels (prisons) to the max!!

    And the Judges try to stay out of this crime wave – just doing the job as the “Prosecutor” requests

  6. “All That Is Necessary For The Triumph Of Evil Is For Good Men To Do Nothing”

    –Edmund Burke

    When on earth will people listen to their lunacy and then simply say NO…

    • Sadly, the Left will never admit that their policies don’t work. They are like children, and will continue to double-down on their efforts until everything is destroyed.

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