Mayor Weinberger Statement Regarding Burlington City Council Resolution to Raise the Officer Cap 

Mayor Weinberger Statement Regarding Burlington City Council Resolution to Raise the Officer Cap 

Burlington, VT - Tonight, the Burlington City Council will be considering a resolution to restore 8 sworn officer positions at the Burlington Police Department, bringing the office cap from 74 to 82 as recommended unanimously by the Burlington Police Commission last Monday. Mayor Weinberger released the following statement prior the start of the Council’s deliberation: 

“In just over a year we have lost nearly 20 of our police officers, and today, we face the very real possibility of losing an equal amount or more in the weeks and months to come,  according to a recent survey completed by the BPOA which revealed that more than 50% of our remaining officers are actively seeking new employment. If that happens, we will cease to have a functional police department in the City of Burlington. 

“Furthermore, the fact that we are reckoning with the consequences of a badly diminished City department at the same time Burlingtonians are feeling the first dollar impacts the reappraisal – is an unwelcome irony not lost on voters.  

“Public safety is the top responsibility of City Government, and we are approaching the point where we can no longer fulfill it.  A Council vote to support tonight’s resolution would not fix this grave situation, but it would send the message to the public and our officers that public safety and maintaining a viable department remain a goals of this Council.  

“While this resolution does not finish our work, it does represent an important start, and delaying this action for further analysis will only make our major challenges even harder.  

“Our City has a long and proud record of early adoption  of transformational police reforms, such as severing our ties to the military, adopting a harm reduction approach to the Opioid Crisis, mandating the use of body cameras, and significantly reducing officer-initiated stops, and, we have much more work to do. 

“A vote against this resolution will seriously jeopardize the legacy of those reforms, our ability to make further advancements, and possibly, even the very viability of the Burlington Police Department.” 

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Press Release Date: 
08/09/2021
City Department: 
Mayor's Office