Central police agency plan gets Judiciary Committee review

By Guy Page

The plan to centralize all state and county police under a new Agency of Public Safety will be discussed Wednesday by the House Judiciary Committee.

Jan. 14 study prepared by Public Safety Commissioner Michael Schirling argues that centralization will produce savings and efficiency. Supporters of the status quo say a central agency will be out of touch with the needs of specialized police and the people they serve. The plan does not include municipal police. A Senate bill prompted by Schirling’s study, S.182, would create a new “hierarchical structure” over all state and county enforcement, including:

  • Police and fire training schools
  • Sergeant at Arms and Capitol police
  • “All state law enforcement officers” including state police and game wardens
  • All sheriff’s departments and special investigative units
  • Liquor and Lottery enforcement
  • Department of Corrections
  • Probation and Parole
  • Motor Vehicle Inspectors
  • Investigators for the Secretary of State, Attorney General, and State’s Attorneys, and Medical Board
  • Railroad Police
  • Cannabis investigators

Tuesday, Corrections and Institutions will review H.842 community notification of release of sex offenders,  and H.844 armed probation/parole officers. Sponsored by Rep. Brian Smith (R-Derby), H842 would require notification of owners abutting the planned home of the released sex offender before the SO is released. H844 (Rep. Mary Howard, D-Rutland) would allow probation and parole officers to carry firearms on duty (even in gun-free state buildings) after completing firearms training.

Tuesday, House and Senate Education will hold a joint hearing on planned resolution of problems surrounding proficiency based learning, which has caused frustration for high school seniors trying to apply for college. PBL grading doesn’t convert well to a grade-point average (GPA), leaving some college applicants unable to provide this crucial information on college applications.

House Education on Thursday will review H.714 (Rep. Zachariah Ralph, P-Hartland), requiring implicit bias training for public and approved independent school employees. The Secretary of Education would contract with the Vermont Human Rights Commission to provide four hours of training to new employees and two hours every two years to all other employees. The bill would allow the State to receive private and private donations and grants to fund the training.

Tuesday House Energy & Technology will continue its weeks-long discussion of H.688, the Global Warming Solutions Act. The bill would require all of state government to reduce carbon emissions in its programs and decision-making, and would give citizens (including activist lawyers) the expressed right to sue if reduction targets are not met.

General, Housing and Military Affairs Tuesday will discuss H.492 the Homeless Bill of Rights on Tuesday, H.739 creation of a statewide rental housing registry on Wednesday, and JRH 7 the apology for 20th century laws supporting eugenics-inspired sterilization on Thursday.

Government Operations will review H.775 creating a state Youth Council and H.557 livestock running at large on Thursday, and H.464 police use of force and de-escalation on Friday.

House Human Services will discuss H.663 expanding access to contraception Tuesday and Woodside Juvenile Treatment facility Wednesday.

House Transportation will hear about a Luxury Tax Wednesday and about the Transportation & Climate Initiative Thursday. In 2015 Connecticut adopted a luxury sales tax of 7.75% for most motor vehicles costing more than $50,000. Vermont now requires a vehicle sales tax of 6%. On Thursday the committee also will discuss workzone traffic safety and helmets for ATVs.

Click here for a listing of all House committee meetings this week. Individuals who wish to contact their legislators about these or other bills and issues may call the State House during workdays at 828-2228 or contact them through the Vermont House.

Image courtesy of TNR

8 thoughts on “Central police agency plan gets Judiciary Committee review

  1. In 1917 the Soviet Union consolidated police powers into an organization called the NKVD. This organization was responsible for carrying out Stalin’s purge. Anyone who disagreed with the socialist agenda was tortured, sent to reeducation camps and or murdered.

  2. New agency? Does that mean several existing agencies will be eliminated and folded into one? OR a new layer of burocacy will be added costing tax payers even more of their hard earned money??? If it’s the later, I am definitely OPPOSED!!!

  3. Turning VT into a police state. Our sheriffs are elected and are only accountable to the people not a centralized state government.

    You cannot arm slaves and expect them to remain slaves. Nor can you disarm a free people and expect them to remain free.

  4. Oh, by the way, how is it that a legislature the size of VTs can sponsor over 1000 bills. Where do the find time to write them? At home on their break? They are not smart enough to do that much less understand what is in them.

    • They don’t have to write anything – just copy, paste and change a few words from the bills in CA, OR, WA, NJ, MA and all the other freedom-destroying states.

  5. Quote: “Tuesday House Energy & Technology will continue its weeks-long discussion of H.688, the Global Warming Solutions Act. The bill would require all of state government to reduce carbon emissions in its programs and decision-making…” What are the state, counties and towns going to do regarding dump trucks and highway/street plow trucks. Those will be some huge ticket items to buy in electric versions. That is, when they become available. Bet they didn’t think about that.

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