The Vermont Statutes Online
The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.
NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.
Subchapter 002 : Unprofessional Conduct(Cite as: 20 V.S.A. § 2409)
§ 2409. Accessibility and confidentiality
(a) It is the purpose of this section both to protect the reputation of law enforcement officers from public disclosure of unwarranted complaints against them and to fulfill the public’s right to know of any action taken against a law enforcement officer when that action is based on a determination of unprofessional conduct.
(b) All meetings and hearings of the Council shall be subject to the Open Meeting Law.
(c) The Executive Director of the Council shall prepare and maintain a register of all complaints, which shall be open to public inspection and copying, except as may be exempt under the Public Records Act, and which shall show:
(1) with respect to any complaint, the following information:
(A) the date and the nature of the complaint, but not including the identity of the law enforcement officer; and
(B) a summary of the completed investigation; and
(2) only with respect to a complaint resulting in filing of charges or stipulations or the taking of disciplinary action, the following additional information:
(A) the name and business addresses of the law enforcement officer;
(B) formal charges, provided that they have been served or a reasonable effort to serve them has been made;
(C) the findings, conclusions, and order of the Council;
(D) the transcript of the hearing, if one has been made, and exhibits admitted at the hearing;
(E) any stipulation filed with the Council; and
(F) any final disposition of the matter by the Vermont Supreme Court.
(d) The Council, its hearing officer, and Council staff shall keep confidential any other information regarding unprofessional conduct complaints, investigations, proceedings, and related records except the information required or permitted to be released under this section.
(e) A law enforcement officer charged with unprofessional conduct shall have the right to inspect and copy the investigation file that results in the charges against him or her, except for any attorney work product or other privileged information.
(f) Nothing in this section shall prohibit the disclosure of any information regarding unprofessional conduct complaints pursuant to an order from a court of competent jurisdiction, or to a State or federal law enforcement agency in the course of its investigation, provided the agency agrees to maintain the confidentiality of the information as provided in subsection (d) of this section.
(g)(1) The Council shall collect aggregate data on the number of:
(A) complaints received that involve domestic or sexual violence; and
(B) the number of complaints for Category A and B conduct involving domestic or sexual violence that resulted in the filing of charges or stipulations or the taking of disciplinary action.
(2) The Council shall provide a report of the aggregate data collected pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection to the House Committees on Judiciary and on Government Operations and Military Affairs and the Senate Committees on Judiciary and on Government Operations annually on or before January 15. (Added 2017, No. 56, § 1, eff. July 1, 2018; amended 2023, No. 74, § 5, eff. June 19, 2023.)