Montpelier Police Department
Montpelier Police Chief
POLICE CHIEF City of Montpelier, Vermont
(Population 7,800 with daytime population of approximately 20,000)
The City of Montpelier, the Capital City for the State of Vermont, seeks a dynamic Chief of Police to lead a professional and dedicated Police Department working in partnership with the community to address quality of life and public safety issues. The incumbent Chief is retiring having completed 13 years in the position. The Montpelier Police Department has 27 full time employees, of which 17 are sworn officers. The agency has an annual budget in excess of 3.8 million (police, communications, and parking). The City of Montpelier operates under a city charter with a Council-Manager form of Government. The Chief is appointed by, and reports to the City Manager. The Chief of Police is responsible for all police operations—emphasizing 21st century policing principles through building community trust and police legitimacy, community policing, crime prevention, policy implementation, training, technology, and officer/dispatcher wellness. The Chief of Police is also responsible for a regional emergency communications dispatch center servicing 17 other communities (fire and EMS). The department has strong relationships with its local, state, and federal partners.
Candidates must possess excellent and proven leadership, human resources, interpersonal, communication, and management skills. Candidate must also understand the dynamics of working in a small but busy city and be committed to staff development and training. Candidates must also have proven skills in union/labor relations, budget preparation, presentation and management, as well as building and maintaining active community partnerships. Requirements are a Bachelor’s Degree (Master’s Degree preferable) and at least ten (10) years of progressive law enforcement related experience including five (5) years experience at a command level. Successful graduation from the FBI National Academy is desirable. The Candidate must possess certification from the Vermont Police Academy or obtain that certification within one year of appointment. Must possess a valid Vermont motor vehicle operator’s license or obtain one within one month of appointment. Candidate must be a citizen of the United States. The final candidate will undergo a complete background investigation as well as psychological and drug testing.
Annual salary negotiable based on experience, qualifications and budget; salary is currently budgeted at $103,480. Excellent and comprehensive benefits package. Female and minority candidates are encouraged to apply. Please submit letter, resume and list of references electronically by 4:30 PM on March 30, 2020 to William J. Fraser, City Manager email@example.com
The Montpelier Police Department has worked closely and openly with various organizations and members of the community to discuss contemporary policing issues here in Montpelier. MPD embraces the “six pillars” of 21st Century Policing.
In 2019, the department’s staff levels returned to an authorized strength of 17 full-time police officers. The MPD is comprised of the following personnel: chief, one captain, three sergeants, one detective sergeant, one detective, one school resource officer, and nine patrol officers (three of whom are patrol shift corporals), one Public Safety Support Services Administrator, seven full-time Emergency Services Dispatchers and one dispatch supervisor, one full-time and two part-time Community Service Officers (Parking Division).
The department provides 24 hour police and communications services seven days a week. For safety reasons, there is a minimum of two police officers on duty during any given shift. Most officers work four-ten hour shifts per week. This schedule enables the department to have critical shift overlaps during peak times and reduce the amount of overtime used when officers are on leave. It is important to note that all uniformed officers handle a full spectrum of law enforcement services that include: traffic safety, crime prevention and investigation, mental health crisis response (the department has three active hostage/crisis negotiators), community support, and emergency operations.
School safety remains one of MPD’s top priorities. The Chief continues to serve as the Vermont Chiefs of Police representative on the Vermont School Crisis Planning Team (part of the Vermont Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security). MPD and the Montpelier Public School System share in the funding of the department’s School Resource Officer (SRO)--furthering the joint partnership and commitment to keep the children and faculty of Montpelier’s schools safe.
The majority of complex criminal investigations are handled by the department’s recently re-structured investigative division which is comprised of a Sergeant, a Detective Corporal, and the School Resource Officer. Patrol personnel have certain training and investigative experience as well. For example, many of our officers have specialized training in areas such as death investigation, financial crime, child sexual abuse, and narcotics investigations. Officers and agents from MPD, Barre City PD (BCPD), Vermont State Police (VSP), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), the U.S. Marshal’s Service, the Vermont Drug Task Force, and other area departments continue to work collectively to respond to and prevent criminal activity that is intensified by the drug addiction problem in Vermont. The prevalence of illegal firearms associated with the drug trade in this region is of paramount concern to our officers, and ultimately the community.
"Project Safe Catch"
Project Safe Catch is a law enforcement addiction support and recovery effort, where anyone can seek help for drug addiction anytime, day or night and MPD personnel will coordinate linking an addict with treatment. Officers will also offer treatment through Project Safe Catch in a post arrest situation as well if drug addiction is suspected with an arrestee. The department’s primary partners for Project Safe Catch include Central Vermont Substance Abuse Services, Washington County Mental Health, Central Vermont Medical Center’s Emergency Department, and Central Vermont New Directions Coalition (education, outreach and prevention specialists). Project Safe Catch was also supported by the Washington County State’s Attorney, the United States Attorney (Dist. of Vermont), and the Washington County police chiefs and commanders. All MPD officers carry Naloxone (Narcan) and there were again cases in 2019 where they deployed the drug to unconscious individuals who had over-dosed on opiates. The fact that MPD did not have any reported fatal drug overdoses is a very positive sign that the public health situation as it relates to opiate addiction is improving in Montpelier. This is further evidenced by the drop in burglaries and robberies, two categories of crime that are linked to substance abuse disorder.
Building Community Trust and Legitimacy:
Maintenance of the department’s Facebook page is carried out by a small team of officers, overseen by a sergeant in order to keep the page fresh without relying on one individual. This is also just one more way the department can keep the public informed with emergency and public safety information.
"Coffee with a Cop" events have provided members of the department with a way to meet with citizens in a relaxed setting and engage in general conversations on a variety of topics ranging from quality of life to crime. These meetings provide great opportunities for understanding neighborhood and city-wide concerns and exploring possible solutions in a collaborative manner.
Training is a critical aspect of modern policing. It is imperative that officers stay current in criminal law, juvenile law, liability issues related to policing, evidence (collection and maintenance), technology, weapons and tactics, interacting with vulnerable populations, first aid/CPR, emergency vehicle operation, critical incident management, ethics, and training on departmental policies. For the last six years, the department has instituted rigorous training requirements for all officers in high-risk areas such as use of force, mental health/crisis intervention training, legal training, and vehicle operation. This is part of the department’s risk management approach to training which focuses on high-risk –low frequency incidents. The goal here is to train our officers better which helps to maintain our culture of excellence, improve our policing capacity, keeps both the officers and citizens safer, while minimizing the City’s liability risks.
The MPD Dispatch is a regional dispatch center that has two contracts, one with the Capitol Police (State House), and the other with Capital Fire Mutual Aid (Capital West) which is an organization representing fire and emergency medical services covering 18 communities—which encompass 29 public safety entities. The two dispatch contracts for FY 20 totaled $374,937 in revenue. The department’s dispatch handled 16,811 incidents in 2019.
Parking enforcement is primarily accomplished using one full-time and two part-time Community Service Officers (CSOs). One of the CSO’s duties is parking meter maintenance (we have over 400 meters) and the maintenance of five permit vending machines. Police officers also issue parking tickets and they are the ones tasked with winter ban parking enforcement and applying the “boot” on vehicles when owners have past due parking violations.
The ultimate responsibility for peace, good order, and law enforcement rests with the community of citizens in a democratic society. The complexity of modern society dictates that police efforts must be coordinated and directed by the services of law enforcement professionals. Therefore, the Montpelier Police Department will be devoted to providing professional and quality police services, and will strive to remain effective, efficient, and responsive to the changing needs of our community while providing a safe environment that enhances the quality of life in Montpelier.
- Anthony J. Facos, Chief of Police