Williston cop’s drug search of NY car gets him decertified

By Guy Page

On Sept. 13, The Vermont Criminal Justice Council permanently decertified former Vermont law enforcement officer Travis Trybulski for “conduct in violation of Williston Police Department policies including Fair and Impartial Policing and Investigative Motor Vehicle Stops, during the course of his duty on February 4, 2021.”

Williston Fire Dept. Facebook photo

Williston Police Officer Travis Trybulski in 2020

According to a legal agreement between Trybulski and the State of Vermont, the incident involved his decision to stop and search for drugs (with the owner’s approval) a car with New York license plates.

The decertification vote, which bars Trybulski from working as a cop in Vermont, was nearly unanimous, a VCJC statement said. Trybulski had been a certified Vermont cop since 2009 but left the Williston PD sometime after the Feb. 4 incident. The Sept. 13 vote followed an agreement by Trybulski to not challenge the Council’s jurisdiction in the case.

The public paper trail against Trybulski begins with a March 9 “Giglio” letter sent to Williston PD Chief Patrick Foley by Chittenden County State’s Attorney Sarah George, declaring she would no longer call him as a witness: “The incidents highlighted in the investigation show violations of the Fair and Impartial Policing policy through a clear pattern of profiling and bias. Therefore, I am unwilling to call him as a witness and will not accept any criminal cases from him going forward.”

The Sept. 13 decertification will be sent to several national police databases, including the National Decertification Index, a national registry of police officers whose law enforcement credentials have been revoked due to misconduct.

There is a baffling lack of public information about what Trybulski reportedly did to earn the decertification. However, an online source contains a “stipulation and consent order” between Trybulski and the State of Vermont that outlines some of the details.

On Feb. 4, 2021, Williston Police Officer Trybulski conducted a motor vehicle stop of a Dodge Charger with New York license plates, allegedly coming from a Terrace Avenue home where someone had been repeatedly knocking on the door. He made the stop even though another officer said the driver didn’t match the description of the person knocking on the door, the consent order said.

Trybulski then searched the car (with the owner’s consent) despite having no reason to believe there were illegal drugs in the car, the report said.

In the stipulation and consent order, Trybulski admits no wrong-doing, nor even the accuracy of the facts presented, but agrees to give the Council jurisdiction “to resolve this matter without further time, expense and uncertainty.”

Nothing in the known public record shows any previous black marks against Trybulski. A 2018 photo in the Williston Observer shows him being recognized for 10 years of service.

Guy Page is publisher of the Vermont Daily Chronicle. Reprinted with permission.

Images courtesy of Williston Police Department and Williston Fire Dept. Facebook photo
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