New contract gives Burlington cops more $$, civilian oversight

Police union roasts city council after contract announcement

By Guy Page

The Burlington City Council last night approved a three-year contract with the Burlington Police Officers Association (BPOA) which gives police officers more money and more civilian oversight. 

After the contract was signed, the BPOA issued a blistering statement criticizing the City Council for defunding police in 2020: “Your inaction and abject failure to take responsibility for this crisis has reverberated loudly…..this month, the logically-foreseeable effects of your decision-making have crescendoed into two separate horrific homicide scenes that have shaken our city.”

On July 7, Hussein Mubarak of Burlington was shot in the head at close range on Luck Street. Monday, July 25, a 27-year-old former BHS and UVM student shot and killed a 22-year-old woman then turned the semi-automatic rifle on himself in an apparent murder-suicide on North Winooski Avenue. 

Mayor Miro Weinberger praised the deal for providing “a much-needed component to the City’s effort to rebuild the Burlington Police Department, while also making important progress on high priority police accountability issues.”

The police union contact was ratified by the City Council during its July 25 special meeting. The contract, which includes 20 percent base pay increase over three years, builds upon the BPD Rebuilding Plan, which was approved last month by City Council as part of the FY 23 budget. The contract was approved by the City Council 10-1, with one Councilor not present.

Perri Freeman, a central Burlington councilor who has expressed the wish to disarm police officers on patrol, was the sole No vote.

Summary of Major Contract Terms

The contract is a critical step to rebuild the BPD back to the 87-officer authorized cap (there are currently 62 officers on staff), Weinberger said in a statement released this morning. 

The contract provides police officers a 20 percent base pay increase over three years, including a 12 percent increase in the FY 23 (in years two and three the increases mirror the terms of the recently approved AFSCME contract). “This increased compensation puts the Burlington Police Department in a very competitive position with respect to other Vermont police departments,” Weinberger said. 

The contract also includes police accountability provisions, including:

·         Increasing the time the City can retain disciplinary records, and clarifying that some records may be retained permanently. Under the agreed upon contract, records regarding use of force violations and other serious policy violations can be retained by the Department permanently; records will now be retained for non-disciplinary files and letters of reprimand for two years; and records for suspensions will be retained for four years;

·         Changing the disciplinary interview process to be consistent with best practice from police oversight advocates;

·         Clarifying and enhancing the Police Commission’s and Mayor’s access records during misconduct investigations, and codifying that the Police Commission can play both an advisory role to the Chief prior to the issuance of a disciplinary decision, and serve as an appeals body.

·         New contract provisions that prevent officers that have been fired for disciplinary reasons in other law enforcement agencies from being hired by the BPD.

To read the BPOA Contract, click here 

This news report includes content from today’s statement by Mayor Weinberger. 

Categories: Burlington

8 replies »

  1. Used to like going to Burlington but not anymore as safety is a concern. We were going to go on the sunset cruise but with all the violence were opting for something closer to us in the country. And I do carry a firearm but I won’t be going so a loss for Burlington as I bet others feel the same way.

  2. Council needs to also apologize for their lack of foresight in downgrading the BPD and all constituents related involved on a daily basis while listening to the radicals hell bent on disrupting reality in a safe manner.

  3. Loved Burlington, Saratoga, NY and Keene, NH. Will NOT be visiting Burlington ever again. No longer a safe community.

  4. We have lived here for 75+ years and we don’t go downtown only to drive by to south Burlington or Williston we don’t feel safe in our own city anymore. We both grew up in the old north end and we never witnessed anything like this in the past. Plus you can’t ever find any parking downtown we use to like going to battery park and the picnic area on the water front. No parking at battery park and the picnic area shelter area has been taken over by new for money boat docking. City has gone to hell since days of sanders/clavelle/and democrats/progressive IDIOTS. We would move out of city but are way to old and in to poor health to make the move. Otherwise we would be gone in a heart beat

  5. Mayor Groucho Whine-Booger also mentioned the “epidemic of gun violence”, where one shooting mentioned was more like GANG violence & the most recent a crestfallen kid unable to handle a girlfriend’s breakup, as in “if I can’t have her nobody can”..As for paying cops for the crap they deal with and the “defunding”? Too little, too late..But hey, there’ll be plenty of brand new “bike lanes” in a northern state where crappy weather reigns 3/4 of the year! Yay! Get rid of the “racist roads”! Mayor Pete would be PROUD! Defund the cops? Nay, DEFEND the cops! A fentanyl-infused non-compliant guy out west is killed by a crazed cop & Burlington Vt. citizens pay the price of the whistle-a-mob demonstrators? Maybe the city should find another drinking water source other than that polluted lake, it’s twisted their thinking.

  6. Bahahaha they went from defunding to refunding to RAISES.
    Sounds like begging to me and I love it.

  7. Isn’t it odd (sarcasm) that the other online paper gave no info about the police putting forth a statement about the actual feelings of the union and its officers. Nowhere will you find the statement on a link or even spoken about in that article. Geez who do you want to believe now, the trusty folks at vtdigger or our reporter Guy Page, who it appears wants people to know as much of the truth as he can find AND give us a chance to comment.

  8. Sorry forgot to bring up how there is NO LINK in that other rag that lets anyone read the actual contract. They do not quote a real source just another papers report . So sad that they are so incapable of even giving out the most basic information that will effect our lives. Again, Thanks Guy!

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