Vermont police informant tool – aka the ‘snitch line’ – has educational purpose, cops say

By Guy Page

More than 130 Vermonters have used the Vermont State Police “Executive Order Reporting Tool” (EORT) to inform police about other Vermonters’ alleged infractions of Gov. Scott’s executive orders for work, travel and social distancing, Department of Public Safety Commissioner Michael Schirling said this week.

Vermont State Police provide the hyperlinked web form to local police and governments to post on websites and social media. The City of Winooski (“Vermont’s Opportunity City”) website features a link with the following explanation: “The Executive Order Reporting Tool is for the public to report violations of the Governor’s Executive Order. It is not meant to be used by law enforcement for reporting. Once an individual of the public makes a report through the portal the complaint is vetted and directed to the appropriate law enforcement agency for investigative follow up.”

The web form asks for the type of complaint: Non-Compliance Lodging Property,  Non-Compliance On-line reservation suspension, Non-Compliance In-person business operation, or Non-Compliance Restaurant On-Premise Consumption of Food Or Drink. It then asks basic who, what, when and where questions, and collects the name, address and contact information of the informant. Significantly, a category to report gatherings of 10 people or more, appearing on the tool last week, has since been dropped.

Guy Page

EORT has been criticized on social media and in the press as a “snitch line.” In an April 9  editorial entitled “Kill the Ratline,” Caledonian-Record  publisher Todd Smith called the online web form “Kafkaesque.”

“A system that sends armed police to someone’s property, based on a vague and anonymous complaint, seems neither educational nor innocuous,” Smith wrote. “Particularly when paired with Attorney General T.J. Donovan’s press conference last week in which he detailed the enormous civil fines, criminal charges, and imprisonment in his tool belt for Executive Order scofflaws.”

Public Safety Commissioner Michael Schirling stresses that the goal of the portal isn’t enforcement, but education.

“The portal’s primary purpose is to flag where education is needed to help people understand the governor’s orders and comply with them,” he said in a statement received this week by Vermont Daily. “The portal is NOT widely publicized, and although there is a public link, it is designed for law enforcement agencies to provide an outlet for those people who already are making what are inevitable reports to a central mechanism. The law enforcement stance has been and continues to be education and voluntary compliance.”

If Schirling here is suggesting that EORT is a time-saver for local police, he’s probably right. Berlin police reported to Vermont Daily last week that they were inundated with calls from concerned residents alleging inadequate social distancing (for example, walkers holding hands on Berlin Pond roads) and food hoarding (shoppers buying multiple packages of meat).

“The state had received more than 130 complaints from the public,” Schirling continued. “Those complaints are then referred to local law enforcement agencies for follow-up as needed, with the focus, again, on helping people learn about the requirements of the order and seeking their voluntary cooperation (as outlined in this guidance from the Attorney General’s Office).”

The Vermont Attorney General’s Office said April 3 repeated non-compliance can lead to “a civil violation of up to $1,000 per violation per day and criminal violation of up to $500 fine and/or up to 6 months imprisonment.”

Read more of Guy Page’s reports.

Image courtesy of Public domain

26 thoughts on “Vermont police informant tool – aka the ‘snitch line’ – has educational purpose, cops say

  1. New York Snitch Line Bombarded With Subversive Liberty Memes, Vulgar Pictures and Propaganda Against The State…
    Posted on April 21, 2020 by sundance
    Commissar Bill de Blasio is not pleased with the early results from the New York City Ministry of COVID Compliance ‘snitch on your neighbor’ text message alert system.

  2. The use of this online reporting tool is a PR nightmare for the Governor and the VSP. IT SHOULD BE TAKEN DOWN IMMEDIATELY! These are challenging times for people coping with job loss, isolation from social events, illness, and fear of untimely death, to name just a few. The vast majority of Vermonters have abided by the Governor’s Executive Orders at great personal sacrifice. The use of public service announcements would be the more appropriate way to “educate” those not fully understanding the Governor’s orders, not asking a already stressed population to do more by tattling on their neighbors. Big mistake, Commissioner Shirling. Please, take the site offline.

  3. Gov Scott, this web site has to come down and Schirling should be fired for allowing this to exist. We are a free state, not a communist country.

    • “We are a free state, not a communist country.”

      Only in theory,we are quickly rushing down the road of a budding police state and nation,a direct result of electing Leftist’s and appointing them to positions of power.

  4. So you have a decision to make, problem one you see ” one ” person selling drugs
    on the corner, or problem two you see ” three ” people working in their yard all
    in the same space……. who”s really breaking the law ??

    I guess in a Liberals or a Rinos mind, the yard re are in trouble…….

    Wake up people, we deserve better all of Montpelier from the top-down needs
    to go ” snitch – Line ” what a joke

  5. As the headline says :educational purposes” for sure. The public is being educated as to how low the the police will go and violate constitutional rights. The “snitch line” is what it means. That’s going on in Communist China and other Communistic countries. Sound familiar? Nazi Germany was the start of recent and onto today. VT the Gestapo State, not the Green Mountain State.

    Scott wasn’t for gun control, then a minor hardly noticeable event and gun control laws signed. In 30 days of this Covid-19 questionable situation (see the reports and actual events), Vt is on lockdown and “Snitching” and confined to homes. There needs a royal flushing in Montpelier, and will be interesting with no toilet paper.

    Time to take VT BACK!

  6. Further implementation of the government’s socialist agenda. Today, it’s related to Scott’s current edicts. Tomorrow, it will be anything & anyone opposing any or all of what the government wants. Welcome to the gulag.

  7. Nosey neighbors, we’ve lost all common sense.

    Holding hands? What if they live together and share a bed? Can’t hold hands? Bed police?

    Buying a bunch of meat? What if they are shopping for the entire month? Keeping “social distancing to a minimum? What if they are cooking for a large family?

    Getting a taste of how it is to live in a communist world? Where everybody is snooping and in your business rather than running a business? Yeah these smart phones are a tyrants, communists and propagandists dream come true.

    Instantly snitch, and spread lies across a billion people within a second, with a push of the button and for free. And worst people don’t know how to discern truth from lies making the world easy pickin’s. I swear one of the main reasons dictators don’t want people reading a bible is because it teaches people how to discern some bodies heart and how to determine lies,from truth.

  8. Nominations for the EFEM (Erich Fritz Emil Mielke) award are now being accepted. Prizes include a framed picture of the former Chief of the East German Stasi.

  9. What’s next for these evil scofflaws, re-education camps? gulags? Can you say “Communism”?

    Communist Russia and the CCP in China have used the technique of neighbors ratting-out neighbors
    for decades. Very effective.

    What’s next, children dropping a dime on their toilet paper hoarding parents?

  10. Yes it’s educational but their not say on what you SHOULDN’T be doing in a free
    society but what they do in a communist society… Burnee land 101

      • Exactly!
        Passing all those bills in the dark of nite so none of us find out till too late, that we are so screwed!!

  11. I doubt any large corporations are being fined or corporate CEO’s threatened with imprisonment due to these violations as are small business owners/retailers – this is economic disparity discrimination.

  12. I find this snitching tool is being used now but has it ever been used for drug sales, abuse etc? Vermont has gone a long way from fences make good neighbors to squeezing about everything your neighbor is doing…….don’t like it one bit.

    • No, because drugs have not been a priority for this state. Except for legalizing more drug sales and having the state with their “cooperative” be the king pin of the drug world.

      No Vermont schools and prisons, two buildings we shouldn’t have drugs in are the easiest places to get get drugs. Prison is like a chamber of commerce for dealers.

      Everybody, in every small town of Vermont knows who is dealing the drugs, anybody new to town or a police officer could tell you with half a days research who, when and where the drugs are being dealt.

      Our state by its inaction, by leading the nation in per capita births of babies in 2014 shows we really don’t care. A kid is born every day, every day addicted to hard core drugs in our state. Life is hard enough, can you imagine? Day one? How is this going to physically affect them ALL their lives? Then think about the social cost in Vermont’s social,services, million dollars a kid? Gotta be $500k. And think some “families”‘are doing this multiple times!

      The vast majority, I bet 400k of our 600k population would not chose this path for a family member, they wouldn’t have their neighborhood run this way.

      Why are we letting our politicians run our state this way?

  13. It is interesting how in every crisis government uses it as an excuse to at best dampen citizen liberties and at worse, become a gestapo entity and take away our constitutional liberties. It happened after 911 and it is happening now.

    • Scott must be getting tired of living in Montpelier because the snitch program will sure fire lose votes. I for one included.

      • Now it makes sense…Scott Toilet Paper!
        He’s probably making a killing on this, and no doubt, the longer the “crisis” can be sustained, the better for him.
        Personally I am sick of it. RINO’s shouldn’t need toilet paper. They shouldn’t be here at all. They should be flushed.

        • Well thanks for including ALL Republicans in that statement. It’s really disheartening how people are WILLING to snitch on each other! Those people are that same ones who would have turned Anne Frank in for hiding in that attic! This snitch line needs to be taken down…and seriously T.J. Donovan, they are letting prisoners out so they won’t catch the virus and you want to put ppl in for not being 6 feet apart or hanging out with their families??

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