Statement for Release
Earlier today, during the general discussion portion of the Vermont Criminal Justice Council’s regularly scheduled public meeting, a Council member, Mike Major, made an offensive statement that was insulting to our invited guests from Migrant Justice, to our other Council members, and to the organizations and communities that our Council members represent.
Mr. Major’s remark occurred during a series of statements from community stakeholders who were expressing their frustration with the Council due to the Council removing the Fair and Impartial Policing Policy from the meeting’s agenda. While Mr. Major stated that he had not intended for his comments to be heard by the Council or the public, the impact of his words was devastating. Members of the Council, including the Council’s Chair, William Sorrell, swiftly condemned Mr. Major’s words expressing that his comments not only detract from the hard work by Vermont Law Enforcement to understand and address concerns of marginalized groups, but that his divisive remark exemplifies the fears felt by marginalized populations too often in our State.
The Council wishes to reiterate that Mr. Major’s words are not representative of the Council nor of law enforcement in the State of Vermont. Chair Sorrell wishes to further state, “Today’s appalling incident underscores the need for our Council and others to redouble efforts to eliminate discriminatory attitudes and actions by some Vermont law enforcement personnel in the performance of their duties.” The Council accepted Mr. Major’s resignation from his seat on the Council which he tendered during the meeting. Mr. Major had been serving as the representative of the Vermont Police Association.
The Fair and Impartial Policy has been diligently worked on by the Council’s Fair and Impartial Policing subcommittee. The subcommittee submitted its proposed policy revisions to the Council in December of 2023. After the policy was discussed at the last two Council meetings, the policy was listed on the agenda today for a potential vote. The removal from today’s agenda was requested by the Chair of The Council, William Sorrell, so that the subcommittee could review and address the concerns raised by the Vermont Association of Chiefs of Police prior to the Council moving forward with further discussion on the policy. The Fair and Impartial Policing Policy is significant to the rights of all people in Vermont. Chair Sorrell requested the removal of the policy from the agenda with deep regret but with the understanding that this additional delay would ensure that all stakeholders’ points of view were heard and factored into the subcommittee’s proposed policy and the Council’s subsequent review of the policy.
As part of our continuing commitment to the training of Vermont’s law enforcement personnel, the Vermont Police Academy and the Vermont Criminal Justice Council is excited to announce the opening of a formal Job Task Analysis (JTA). The survey is open to all certified law enforcement officers in Vermont. The results will be used to ensure that Vermont law enforcement officer entry-level training is current, effective, legally defensible, and meets the expectations of Vermont citizens.
The questionnaire asks officers whether and how often they perform a particular task, if at all, as well as how important correct task performance is and when they think it should be learned. Supervisors, Managers and Executives will identify the tasks they expect their officers to perform and evaluate those tasks in terms of both criticality and when they should be taught. Those responses will help determine when a topic is covered, in basic training, advanced training, or on-the-job training.
The responses officers provide will help the police academy develop new and/or validate current basic training and ensure that the Academy’s basic and in-service programs prepare new and serving law enforcement officers to perform the challenges awaiting them in the field.
Firearms Instructor Updates for 2023-2024
- Any Firearms Instructor who was scheduled to re-certify in 2023 will be waived until December 31, 2024.
- All instructors will have the opportunity to re-certify at the Academy during 2024 with multiple dates available for the flexibility of both individuals and departments.
- Instructors will be able to attend a morning or an afternoon re-certification that will last approximately 3 – 4 hours depending on the number of instructors present.
- All instructors should arrive in appropriate duty attire for range, with eye protection, ear protection, cover, body armor and at least 100 rounds of range ammo.
- This re-certification will include classroom portion that will cover the statewide use of force policy and how it pertains to Firearms and Firearms instruction, current methods of instruction for the Level II and Level III classes, expectations for Firearms Instructors for the preparation of students who will be participating in the Level II or Level III courses, student remediation and coaching, familiarization with the new Academy Ti Training Simulator, range standards qualification at instructor proficiency level.
To sign up for the 2023/2024 Firearms Instructor Re-Certification please go to the Eventbrite posting here:
Annual Training Requirements for agencies are due March 1, 2024 for training obtained from January 1, 2023-December 31, 2023. All waivers for training needed outside of 2023 need to be submitted by December 31, 2023. Each agency has until March 1, 2024 to submit the 2023 annual training affidavit. See more information here: Annual Training Requirements for Certification (Rule 13) | Criminal Justice Council (vermont.gov)
Paperwork Deadline: Friday, December 8, 2023
Fitness Testing Dates: Wednesday, December 20, 2023 at 0830
Wednesday, January 3, 2024 at 0830
Wednesday, January 10, 2024 at 0830
Orientation: Friday, January 12, 2024 at 0830
Day One: Monday, February 5, 2024, at 0800