New agency proposed to oversee all state police, game wardens, county sheriffs, and prison guards

By Guy Page

The Vermont Legislature — already seeking a more central role in how Vermonters learn, where they live, how they travel, what they smoke, and how their property may be used — is taking testimony on a bill to place all state police powers under a single, new state agency.

S.182, sponsored by Senate Government Operations Committee Chair Jeanette White, D-Windham, creates a plan to elevate a new Agency of Public Safety to lead 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

Municipal law enforcement is not included. S.182 incorporates many ideas included in a Jan. 14 report by Public Safety Commissioner Michael Schirling claiming that single-agency consolidation would save money, allow more sharing of resources, and reduce redundancy – the usual justifications for centralization.

state of Vermont

Vermont State Game Wardens, prison guards, county sheriff departments, and all other state law enforcement would work under a new state Agency of Public Safety, according to a bill introduced by the influential chair of the Senate Government Operations Committee.

Critics of the bill say it won’t work that way in practice.

Years ago, during a previous state government reorganization, “we were assured the game warden force would remain independent,” Evan Hughes of the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs said in a State House interview today. “We want them to be in an agency where their skills are properly utilized. You can create an agency on a flowchart that looks efficient.  But in practice it’s not effective or efficient. The best utilization of resources is done by those aware of the mission and skills of the game wardens.”

Another critic said the bill discards the sound management principle of vertical integration in favor of less practical ‘horizontal integration.’

Senate Gov Ops reviewed the bill Thursday, Jan. 23. Included in the discussion were Schirling; Steve Howard, Executive Director, Vermont State Employees Association; Patrick Delaney, Commissioner, Department of Liquor and Lottery; Sklyer Genest, Director of Compliance and Enforcement, Vermont Department of Liquor and Lottery; Louis Porter, Commissioner, Department of Fish and Wildlife; Colonel Jake Elovirta, Director of Enforcement and Safety, Department of Motor Vehicles; Evan Hughes, Vice President, Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs; Robert Rooks, Citizen; Kelly Price, Senior Warden, Vermont Fish and Wildlife.

Time will tell if S.182 becomes law. The same is true of other bills and initiatives that would claim a more centralized role for state government in the following aspects of daily life:

Education – the State Board of Education continues to defend in the Vermont Supreme Court its forced merger of school districts; a decision is expected in two months. Yesterday a key legislator for education said there will be no ‘school choice’ legislation this year.

Firearms – legislation includes a 24-hour waiting period for the purchase of a firearm, seizing firearms from people charged with domestic violence, and banning the manufacture, export and possession of high-capacity ammunition magazines. Also. Sen. Phil Baruth (D-Chittenden) has sponsored S259, banning the carrying of semi-automatic weapons in public places.

Smoking – bills in the House and Senate would ban the sale of menthol cigarettes, as well as vaping products. Meanwhile many legislators supporting this ban also support the legal commercialization of marijuana.

Transportation – bills would charge higher registration fees for heavier, low-mileage vehicles, levy a ‘carbon tax’ on gasoline, and allocate more tax money to subsidize, promote and extend public transportation and electric vehicles.

Housing – H.719 would require state Renewable Energy Building Standards certification and inspection before any new single-family home can be occupied.

Energy – an energy expert advised the House Energy & Technology Committee this week that under H.688, the Global Warming Solutions Act, the State of Vermont could stop power in times of peak demand to ‘millions’ of appliances including refrigerators and hot water heaters, without home owner consent.

Land use and development – The revision of Act 250, still ongoing, would require rigorous climate change restrictions and limit home construction on ridgelines and in forests, while easing restrictions for home development in certain urban centers.  It also would require local and regional development plans to conform with Act 250 standards and would eliminate a system

Read more of Guy Page’s reports at the Vermont Daily Chronicle.

Images courtesy of TNR and state of Vermont
Spread the love

17 thoughts on “New agency proposed to oversee all state police, game wardens, county sheriffs, and prison guards

  1. So I would expect that our Hunting License Dollars will be used for Wildlife Habitat and Conservation needs rather than paying for Game Wardens salaries since they will be doing everything but Game Enforcement. Completely terrible for the Hunting Community that counts on them for Enforcement and not what they are intended for.

  2. I can see it now. Another useless be uracracy created to police the police and others. All of this will lead to mindless leftycrats pulling over the coppers just because they can. They will need very fast cars. Teslas come to mind. Just what the commies want.

  3. This is nothing less than a state take-over of all law enforcement in Vermont, shy of federal. Likely that one of the motivations is the legislature’s desire to prevent sheriffs from refusing to enforce laws contrary to the U.S. and Vermont Constitutions.

    • Exactly my point. Just like they created the Dept. of Homeland Security to circumvent the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878. These people are fooling no one.

  4. Our sheriffs are elected and are accountable only to “we the people”. Jeanette White is just another Commiecrat trying to centralize the power of the state against the people.

    I WILL NOT OBEY ! I WILL NOT COMPLY !

  5. They are not called “Prison Guards”. They are called Correctional Officers. They do way more than just “guard.”

  6. Jeanette White, D-Windham, is another Flatlander from the great state of MN where the rag head Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is from and the great Senator Al Franken- that state was great, now like VT.

    “S.182, sponsored by Senate Government Operations Committee Chair Jeanette White, D-Windham, creates a plan to elevate a new Agency of Public Safety to lead a new “hierarchical structure” over all state and county enforcement”

    This person is very devious. Case in point: She signed a bill to raise property taxes. In an email to me she said property taxes were local. She forces local towns to raise taxes, and double talks that Montpelier had nothing to do with it. Introduce (lousy) bills to impress her socialist voters, after all it’s Brattleboro country.

    Why can’t they try to reduce the size of government instead of increasing it? Another level bureaucrats (employing more) that will only cause problems for existing departments and those in charge of that will become power crazed and cause conflicts within. It’s a given.

    Another “feel good” regressive. If you confront her, she gets ugly. Another Montpelier drone. TERM LIMITS.

  7. Sure, that’s going to save a lot of money, and increase the efficiency of government. NOT!
    How do Railroad Police get on the list? What about security guards?
    It’s clear these people don’t know anything, but their greed and lust for power.

  8. SOCIALISM through & through!! We do NOT need another agency to pay for. WE do not need people coming here from Massachusetts & telling the legislature they can turn off our refrigerators and water heaters and other appliances for as long as they want. There are people here who freeze food – working at it all summer long- and it is hard work – only to have their freezer turned off? I am one of them. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE LEGISLATURE? We need SMALLER government and no more new “RULES” to live by. This is suppose to be a free country and a free state – let us live our lives without telling us how we have to live it. It is time to VOTE OUT THE OLD LEGISLATURE AND VOTE IN A NEW ONE WHO WILL LISTEN TO THE VERMONT PEOPLE. If this goes through – along with the Carbon tax – we will be moving to New Hampshire Along with lots of middle class Vermonters.

  9. They are trying to create an agency that will uphold only their laws and not those upheld by Federal Law…..
    Vote Red !
    R-emove
    E-very
    D-emocrat

  10. Another agency creating another beaurocracy? How much is that going to cost the tax payers and is it necessary?? It’s about time these folks start thinking in terms of SHRINKING government!!! With the declining and aging population, do we really need more government?? Our neighbor next door has a larger more flourishing population with fewer people in Concord. WAKE UP, MONTPELIER AND GET REAL it can be done.!!!! That is if you try.

  11. Just what Vermont needs, another centralization of power in a new agency. A reminder: Senator Jeanette White of Windham County is responsible for our ethics agency here in Vermont, rated as one of the 4 poorest in the USA. That isn’t working and is a total failure.
    I have not remarked on this before, this is not a duplicate reply.

  12. Just what Vermont needs, another centralization of power in a new agency. A reminder: Senator Jeanette White of Windham County is responsible for our ethics agency here in Vermont, rated as one of the 4 poorest in the USA. That isn’t working and is a total failure.
    I have not remarked on this before.

Comments are closed.