VSP Answers ‘Use of Force’ Comment

Crime / Aug. 10, 2017 11:33am EDT

On July 28, President Trump spoke to a group of law enforcement officers on Long Island, and said, “don’t be too nice” while transporting suspects. In response, Vermont State Police issued a statement about proper practices when using force.

On July 30, Thomas D. Anderson, commissioner of the Dept. of Public Safety, and Col. Matthew T. Birmingham, state police director, issued this statement:

“All Vermont communities rightfully expect that law enforcement in Vermont will have an uncompromising commitment to principles of professionalism, including responsibility and compassion for all individuals with whom they come into contact. This includes the general public, motorists, and those taken into custody for criminal activity.

“Under no circumstance is a police officer permitted to use force that is not reasonable or legally permissible. All certified police officers in Vermont, including the Vermont State Police, receive extensive training on the proper use of force to ensure the prudent, reasonable and careful use of force under the circumstances.

“The Vermont State Police also receive ongoing training on use of force, are required to report when force has been used, and face significant disciplinary penalties for the improper use of force or mistreatment of any person in their custody, up to and including dismissal.

“Statements by any public official condoning or encouraging the unreasonable use of force or the mistreatment of individuals in police custody are inappropriate and antithetical to professional policing and the mission of the Department of Public Safety.”

Return to top