Burlington assault, burglary, car theft, and overdoses all record high at mid-year

Gun incidents down from last year

Graffiti on Main Street, Burlington (Mike Bielawski photo)

By Michael Bielawski
Burlington’s rising crime rates aren’t slowing down even as more officers and other professionals are joining their ranks to help try and stem the trend. This is according to the latest data from the monthly chief’s report, presented to the City Council by Police Chief Jon Murad.

One category at an all-time high: “simple assault” which is at 96 such incidents already for the year compared with a previous high of 85 as of July 15 of last year.

Burlington Police Chief Jon Murad

The data in these tallies span five years back, meaning these are from 2018 to 2023 – as of about midway through each year, through July 15.

Burglary is another category that’s already passing recent records. After last year’s high of 95 by mid-July the city has 97 such incidents at the same juncture for this year.

The most dramatic increase in any category is overdoses. From 2018 to 2022, the high by July 15 was last year with 97 overdoses. By that date this year there have already been 252 overdoses with about another half of a year to go.

Stealing cars is already at an annual high with 172 thefts, compared to 170 at this point last year.

One of the few categories that may not break a new record is that there have been only five gun-related incidents so far this year, compared to 16 at this point of last year. The previous high was seven by mid-July which was in 2021.

Another part of the report sums up the data with these observations.

“Year-to-date, incidents in 2023 are up 23% compared to 2022,” the report states. It continues, “They are up 39% over 2021. In fact, there have been more incidents than any year since 2018; incidents are down 3% since 2018. Patrol officers are addressing ≈3% fewer incidents with ≈50% fewer officers.”

They have unarmed help too
The department in addition to 65 regular officers of which 57 are available to be independently deployed, there are also six Community Service Officers and five community service liaisons.

The report states that CSOs are “These are unarmed, unsworn officers who answer quality-of-life calls for service. … The role is also a stepping stone to becoming a police officer.”

Of the CSLs, they are “embedded social workers with expertise in mental health, substance use disorder, and houselessness. … The CSLs are part of the CAIP team: Crisis Assessment Intervention Programs. Our therapy dog, Rocky, is part of the CAIP team, too.”

Earlier this week VDC was told by some store managers on Church Street that the police general do not respond to reports of theft. At least one store was advised to watch security footage and if a thief can be identified, confront the person if they return and tell them to leave.

Community responds positively to the new chief
This report marks the first by the now acting Police Chief Jon Murad, until earlier this month when he was formally elected by the City Council into the role, he had spent about three years with an ‘interim’ in front of his title.

An interview with him regarding the achievement can be seen on Twitter. One of the commenters expressed gratitude for the development while sharing some frustration that it took the Council as long as it did to finally make the move.

“Well Commissioner, you have to realize that -generally speaking- the leadership in Burlington is comprised of idiots. It takes them quite a while to recognize talent,” wrote @BlackthornDF.

The author is a reporter for Vermont Daily Chronicle.

Categories: Burlington, Crime

17 replies »

  1. The cops can no longer do the job they ought to be able to do to get violent offenders under control and out of VT, and these violent gangsta’s long ago realized that even after an arrest, they just walk free – possibly with a citation “to appear”. Soros-backed prosecutors like Sarah George only enable & encourage lawlessness including mayhem & murder. It is precisely what the left desires – they have ZERO respect or honor for life – not the lives of the taxpaying public, not the unborn babies, not the elderly, not the disabled, and not the ill – with their “Come to VT & We’ll Kill You” campaign.

    They are sick, evil Communists just awaiting one-party rule to really get the general population under control; their control: Dead and/or Imprisoned, just as their mentors the Chinese do. Think they’ll even mildly tolerate this thuggery then? Think again.

    • Last paragraph sounds just like what’s gonna happen if/when Strongman Trump is back in control again.

      • Let’s contemplate the absurdity of your silly comment using the southern border as an example. Complete and intentional lawlessness under the criminal Biden administration with invaders entering by the millions. And you get to pay for them. You’re so blinded by hate, you refuse to see the truth, even when it harms our country.

  2. We’re #1! We’re #1!

    Keep it up, Burlington! Next season we’re taking on Springfield!

    • No surprises here. Chittenden county an the fools in Burlington voted for this madness. Most sane Vermonters don’t even go to burlington anymore for anything. THX satah george and our useless states atty. general who put politics and leftist agendas before the safety and Domestic Tranquility.

  3. Though the overdose death toll and violent crime is obviously the fault of Trump and Putin, how many more must die before we, the Vermont taxpayers step up and provide an adequate number of therapy dogs and streetside dispensers for free Narcan…? Burlingtonians should get used to this situation. The majority of voters there are now welfare deadbeats, subsidized renters, “unhoused” and/or junkies, and have elected a City Council and State’s Attorney that rival the utter insanity of other noteworthy marxist hellholes like San Franfreako, Portland OR and Seattle. Chief Murad and his officers deserve high praise for attempting to maintain law and order in a city where the majority apparently fail to appreciate it or deserve better.

  4. Make sure you call the Chittenden County State Attorney office to congratulate Sarah George. Her crime first policy is paying off.

  5. How are those progressive bleeding heart programs working out? Maybe an ice cream social or two might help stop the crime.

    • The usual remedy is a candlelight vigil, typically with petroleum-based candles emitting fossil CO2. South Burlington used to host “take back the night” marches, and they actually used to do it at night. Now they have them during daylight hours. The left is into symbolism, not substance.

  6. This is what you get Burlington when your City Council, this gaggle of fools,
    that they are, allow this nonsense and tie the hands of the police that they
    disdain………….. you better wake up Burlington !!

    The title ” Queen City ” is long gone, it has become ” Scourge City ” thanks
    to liberal nonsense, you ask how do I know, I’ve lived here over seventy years.

  7. I absolutely agree that the Burlington City Council needs a big change, so put up mature, educated and experienced Democratic and Republican candidates instead of 19 year old UVM students for Independents like me to vote for, maybe 2or 3 times via mail in ballot.

    • You lost me with your “strong man Trump” comment. Unicorn farts and pixie dust aren’t going to fix the mess this country is in as well as this state. Who is going to fix all this, can you tell me? Do you realize how the media and the corrupt democratic party falsely accused Trump with lies for three years? It sounds like you have no idea what it will take to clean the cockroaches, snakes and back stabbers out of DC. How about all the professional politicians who have put the country $32 trillion dollars in debt. You have an opinion like all of us. Some are based on facts others are based on the lies told by the media. Perhaps yours are from the media. Do some more research and open your eyes.