By Guy Page
The Montpelier City Council tonight will consider policing recommendations to legalize prostitution and public drinking.
The meeting begins at 6:30 pm. The Montpelier Police Review Committee Report, scheduled for review by the City Council, includes the following recommendations (reprinted verbatim) under the subtitle ‘Sex work’:
- Montpelier City Council should support H. 268 of 2021, which repeals consensual prostitution laws while retaining felony human trafficking laws.
- Montpelier should repeal its prostitution ordinances, which criminalize housing for sex workers, the act of sex work, and a safe workplace for sex workers.
- MPD should continue to deprioritize the investigation of consensual sex work and instead prioritize human trafficking, coercion, and when force is at issue.
Other report recommendations include:
- Body cameras to be worn by police, and elimination of ‘military purchases’ of surplus equipment from the Department of Defense.
- Establishing a civilian Police Advisory Committee to review all allegations of police misdeeds.
- Repeal all ordinances related to public drinking and deprioritize police response to public drinking calls.
- Require all recruits to have a year of college (or similar experience) and “a demonstrated commitment to volunteer or paid community service.” The Montpelier Police Dept. at present is short-staffed.
The committee is comprised of local council members, educators, social and mental health workers, and lawyers. The acknowledgements of the Police Review Committee recognize contributions by local officials and citizens, and concludes with the following ‘Land Acknowledgement’:
The Police Review Committee (PRC) also acknowledges that our work was done on unceded
land of the Abenaki people. This land was stewarded by the Abenaki people for thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans to Turtle Island. The Abenaki people’s relationship with this land predates the formation of the City of Montpelier, Washington County, the State of Vermont, and the United States of America. The committee recognizes the dispossession of Abenaki land and honors the continued local presence of the Abenaki people and culture in what is now known as Montpelier and across Vermont.