Public Safety

Vermont State Police announced Friday that 45 members of federal, state and local law enforcement, including members of the Montpelier and Barre City Police, participated in this week’s arrests.
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Twenty-five people were arrested for drug-related crimes in the Washington County area this week.

Chittenden County State's Attorney Sarah George, seen at a press conference Friday, will not file charges in a police shooting that took place in February.
Henry Epp / VPR

Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan announced Friday he will not bring criminal charges against two police officers who shot a man on the side of Interstate 89 in February.

The Vermont Supreme Court. The Vermont Supreme Court overturned the conviction of a man who left KKK recruitment flyers at the Burlington homes of two women of color. The court said the state failed to prove the action constituted an immediate threat.
John Dillon / VPR File

Last week, the court overturned the conviction of a man who put Ku Klux Klan flyers on the Burlington homes of two women of color. The court said the state didn’t prove the action met the threshold of ‘threatening behavior.’

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The Vermont State Police say a young man took his own life after being stopped by a state trooper in Newbury, Vermont on Wednesday morning.

Vermont State Police

Vermont State Police say law enforcement officers arrested two Highgate residents wanted in connection with a body found over the weekend.

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Vermont State Police continue to investigate the police shooting of a robbery suspect in Brattleboro Friday night.

Maj. Jamie Lewandowski is commander of Charlie Company, the division deploying to perform MEDEVAC operations in Southwest Asia and the Middle East. More than 60 members of the Vermont Air National Guard will depart for the mission in June.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

More than 60 members of the Vermont National Guard will deploy this June to Southwest Asia and the Middle East. Deployments typically last a year.

Jack Sawyer sits in Rutland criminal court on Wednesday, April 25.
Robert Layman / Rutland Herald / Pool

Jack Sawyer was released from prison on bail Friday morning. Sawyer is the 18-year old accused of plotting to attack Fair Haven Union High School.

State and Essex Police at Essex High School during an April 2017 school lockdown.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR

School shootings across the country—and a potentially averted shooting in Vermont—spurred Gov. Phil Scott to call for a security review for all Vermont schools. We're looking at the assessment's results and the holes it identified in school safety. 

Jack Sawyer sits in Rutland criminal court on Wednesday, April 25.
Robert Layman / Rutland Herald / Pool

On Wednesday morning, a judge in Rutland Criminal Court reduced Jack Sawyer’s bail from $100,000 to $10,000.

An illustration of a car pulled over on a road by a police officer and the cop is talking to the driver. There is a blue sky, green mountains and a grey house in the background.
Illustration: Aaron Shrewsbury / For VPR

If you got a traffic ticket in Vermont last year, you’re not alone.

Law enforcement issued more than 24,000 tickets worth upwards of $4 million in fines to drivers in Vermont in 2017. A quarter were issued in just three Vermont towns: Plymouth, Bridgewater and Mount Tabor. 

Jack Sawyer sits in Rutland Superior Court
Glenn Russell / Burlington Free Press / Pool File

Rutland County State's Attorney Rose Kennedy has dismissed the four most serious charges against Jack Sawyer, saying a ruling by the Vermont Supreme Court has made prosecution “untenable.”

 A gun rally drew more than a thousand people to Montpelier Saturday; some came in part to pick up a free high capacity magazine that will be banned under new legislation.
John Dillon / VPR File

A constitutional challenge of Vermont’s new ban on high-capacity magazines will hinge less on the Second Amendment than on Article 16 of the Vermont Constitution.

Vermont State trooper cars parked.
Steve Zind / VPR file

Vermont State Police are emphasizing less-lethal weapons and tactics as they review their use-of-force procedures, as well as the policies that dictate when and how officers return to the job after critical incidents. But while some new weapons, tools and administrative changes have already been adopted, the policies surrounding use of force are still being reviewed.

Julia Adams, a social studies teacher at Fair Haven Union High School, asked the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday the change the definition of what it means to "attempt" a crime.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

As Fair Haven Union High School prepares for the possible release of the teenager who allegedly planned to inflict mass casualties at the school, students from the school are asking lawmakers to update criminal statutes they say should have kept him behind bars.

Ryan Mercer / Burlington Free Press / Pool

Earlier this week, in light of the Supreme Court decision, Jack Sawyer’s defense counsel said she hoped to reduce the amount of bail set for her client and renewed her call for a dismissal by asking the judge in Rutland to review his earlier probable cause determination.

But while Superior Judge Thomas Zonay reaffirmed his ruling on Monday that there was probable cause on each of the charges of attempt he seems to have changed his mind.

Vermont State trooper cars parked.
Steve Zind / VPR file

Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan says no charges will be filed against the police officers who shot and killed an alleged bank robber in Montpelier in January.

Vermont Supreme Court in Montpelier.
Lillian Kate Alfin Johnson / VPR/file

The Vermont Supreme Court has ruled that prosecutors did not have enough evidence to hold Jack Sawyer without bail – a ruling that may bolster calls by the defense to dismiss the case. The case has fascinated legal experts who say it is forcing the state to grapple with the difficult issue of when intent to do something becomes an actual crime.

18-year-old Jack Sawyer, of Poultney, enters Rutland Superior Court on Tuesday afternoon wearing handcuffs.
Glenn Russell / Burlington Free Press / Pool

An 18-year-old Poultney man, accused of plotting a thwarted school shooting earlier this year, cannot be held without bail, according to a decision by the Vermont Supreme Court Wednesday.

As opioid-related deaths have continued to climb, naloxone, a drug that can reverse overdoses, has become an important part of the public health response.

When people overdosing struggle to breathe, naloxone can restore normal breathing and save their lives. But the drug has to be given quickly.

On Thursday, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams issued an advisory that encouraged more people to routinely carry naloxone.

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