First-ever Violence Prevention Director to focus on schools

Governor Phil Scott has appointed Dee Barbic, a retired Vermont State Police (VSP) lieutenant, as Vermont’s first director of violence prevention. The creation of this position was included in Governor Scott’s 10-point public safety enhancement and violence prevention action plan, announced on August 17. Barbic will report directly to the Office of the Governor.

Barbic will lead the Violence Prevention Taskforce (VPT), which is set to be reconstituted by executive order. The VPT will include senior executive branch officials appointed by the Governor and will bring focus and clarity to a longer-term prevention strategy that prioritizes early interventions.

As the director of violence prevention, Barbic will also work closely with the Agency of Education and school safety teams to expand the use of behavioral risk assessments, develop a plan to ensure every school is using and updating assessment tools, and create a streamlined response and reporting system for threats. She will work with the attorney general, states’ attorneys and sheriffs and the departments of health and mental health to maximize the use of extreme risk protection order laws statewide, among other responsibilities.

Barbic began her career in law enforcement with the VSP in 1991 as a trooper out of the Williston barracks. Throughout her career she held positions of increasing responsibility, including unit commander, special teams assistant team leader, detective, and first line responder.

Following her retirement, Barbic served as the project manager for the Vermont School Safety Initiative, a $4 million grant proposed in 2018 by Governor Scott. Vermont’s Agency of Education and Department of Public Safety embarked on the initiative to enhance the level of emergency preparedness for Vermont public, private and independent schools. She now operates her own investigation and consulting business that supports law enforcement agencies.

“Even as Vermont is one of the safest states in the country, we are not immune from the concerning national public safety trends,” said Barbic. “I am looking forward to working with dedicated professionals and stakeholders to help make Vermont an even safter place to live, work, do business and raise a family.”

Barbic received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Vermont and is currently pursuing a Doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies at the University of Vermont.

Barbic’s appointment as director of violence prevention is effective immediately.

Categories: Education

2 replies »

  1. Once again I come to Gov. Scott’s defense and commend him. If we have to have another special “position” eating up tax dollars, in this case for supposed “public safety”, then we can be grateful that it is headed by an experienced law enforcement person, as opposed to some social worker or special interest group advocate that blames the police and whitey for all of society’s ills.

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