The Vermont Statutes Online
§ 1811. Creation of department
There is hereby created a department of public safety for the purpose of consolidating certain existing police and investigating agencies, to promote the detection and prevention of crime generally, and to participate in searches for lost or missing persons, and to assist in case of state-wide or local disasters or emergencies.
§ 1812. Definitions
As used in this title, unless otherwise provided:
(1) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Public Safety.
(2) "Department" means the Department of Public Safety.
(3) "Employee" means a person employed by the Department.
(4) "Member" means a sworn employee assigned to the State Police.
(5) "State Police" means the sworn law enforcement officers who are employees of the Department. (Amended 2017, No. 56, § 3.)
§ 1813. Law enforcement duties generally
The department shall, in addition to such other law enforcement duties as are hereinafter set forth, administer and enforce the law pertaining to the following subjects:
(1) The patrol of highways and the operation of traffic thereon;
(2) The identification and records division;
(3) The office of state fire marshal.
§ 1814. Cooperation generally
The department shall cooperate and exchange information with any other department or authority of the state or with other police forces, both within and without this state, including federal authorities, for the purpose of preventing and detecting crime and apprehending criminals.
§ 1815. Availability of photographic prints or photostatic copies
(a) Photographic prints taken by the department of public safety or photostatic copies of investigation reports or other material on file relating to motor vehicle accidents or fires, may be furnished to any interested person.
(1) Photographic prints related to accidents or fire investigations shall be $8.00 per print, and discs shall be $20.00 per disc.
(2) The commissioner of public safety is authorized to collect fees sufficient to recover the costs associated with the processing of photographic films for criminal justice agencies. Such costs include the cost of materials, labor and machine time related to the processing of films by the department.
(3) Copies of fire investigation reports shall be $20.00 per report. If the reports contain audiotape or videotape, the fee for each audiotape or videotape is $45.00.
(4) Investigation reports unrelated to fires or motor vehicle accidents may be furnished at the discretion of the commissioner when the commissioner determines that the release of the material would not be detrimental to the best interests of the department. The fee for each report is $20.00. If the reports contain audiotape or videotape, the fee for each audiotape or videotape is $45.00.
(5) Officers' reports of motor vehicle accidents which do not require a report to the commissioner of motor vehicles pursuant to 23 V.S.A. § 1129 may be sold for $20.00 per report.
(b) Fees collected under this section shall be credited to the sale of photos and reports special fund and shall be available to the department to offset the cost of providing the services.
(c) If a photostatic report furnished under this section exceeds 20 pages, the additional pages shall cost $0.05 per page and $0.33 per minute for staff time in excess of 30 minutes. (Amended 1999, No. 49, § 159; 2001, No. 143 (Adj. Sess.), § 35; 2005, No. 72, § 18; 2009, No. 47, § 1.)
§ 1816. Construction
This chapter and chapter 113 of this title shall be liberally construed to the end that the criminal laws may be efficiently enforced and offenders promptly and certainly apprehended.
§ 1817. Reports of law enforcement officer; accidents involving alcohol
Any law enforcement officer who, upon investigation of a motor vehicle accident or other incident involving the use of alcohol, shall inquire whether the person involved in the accident or incident was served or furnished alcoholic beverages at a licensed establishment and, if the officer determines that a person was served or furnished alcoholic beverages at a licensed establishment, the officer shall so inform the appropriate licensee or licensees in writing. A law enforcement officer shall not be subject to civil liability for an omission or failure to comply with a provision of this section. (Added 1987, No. 103, § 6; amended 2017, No. 83, § 149.)
§ 1818. Law Enforcement Advisory Board
(a) The Law Enforcement Advisory Board is created within the Department of Public Safety to advise the Commissioner of Public Safety, the Governor, and the General Assembly on issues involving the cooperation and coordination of all agencies that exercise law enforcement responsibilities. The Board shall review any matter that affects more than one law enforcement agency. The Board shall comprise the following members:
(1) the Commissioner of Public Safety;
(2) the Director of the Vermont State Police;
(3) the Director of the Enforcement Division of the Department of Fish and Wildlife;
(4) the Director of the Enforcement and Safety Division of the Department of Motor Vehicles;
(5) the Chief of the Capitol Police Department;
(6) the Director of the Vermont Criminal Justice Services Division;
(7) a member of the Chiefs of Police Association of Vermont, appointed by the President of the Association;
(8) a member of the Vermont Sheriffs' Association, appointed by the President of the Association;
(9) a representative of the Vermont League of Cities and Towns, appointed by the Executive Director of the League;
(10) a member of the Vermont Police Association, appointed by the President of the Association;
(11) the Attorney General or designee;
(12) a State's Attorney appointed by the Executive Director of the Department of State's Attorneys and Sheriffs;
(13) the U.S. Attorney or designee;
(14) the Executive Director of the Vermont Criminal Justice Council;
(15) the Defender General or designee;
(16) one representative of the Vermont Troopers' Association or its successor entity, elected by its membership;
(17) a member of the Vermont Constables Association, appointed by the President of the Association; and
(18) a law enforcement officer, appointed by the President of the Vermont State Employees Association.
(b) The Board shall elect a chair and a vice chair, which positions shall rotate among the various member representatives. Each member shall serve a term of two years. The Board shall meet at the call of the Chair. A quorum shall consist of 10 members, and decisions of the Board shall require the approval of a majority of those members present and voting.
(c) The Board shall undertake an ongoing formal review process of law enforcement policies and practices with a goal of developing a comprehensive approach to providing the best services to Vermonters, given monies available. The Board shall also provide educational resources to Vermonters about public safety challenges in the State.
(d)(1) The Board shall meet not fewer than six times a year to develop policies and recommendations for law enforcement priority needs, including retirement benefits, recruitment of officers, training, homeland security issues, dispatching, and comprehensive drug enforcement.
(2) The Board shall present its findings and recommendations in brief summary form to the House and Senate Committees on Judiciary and on Government Operations annually on or before January 15. (Added 2003, No. 122 (Adj. Sess.), § 85e; amended 2005, No. 71, § 81a; 2011, No. 134 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2011, No. 139 (Adj. Sess.), § 19, eff. May 14, 2012; 2013, No. 141 (Adj. Sess.), § 9; 2019, No. 166 (Adj. Sess.), § 22, eff. Oct. 1, 2020 (redesignated from 24 V.S.A. § 1939).)
§ 1819. Equipment of officers with video recording devices
The Department shall ensure that all members assigned to the Vermont State Police Field Force Division who routinely engage with members of the public related to the enforcement of laws are equipped with a body camera or other video recording device on his or her person. (Added 2019, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § E.209.1, eff. Oct. 2, 2020.)