The Vermont Statutes Online
§ 1940. Special investigative units; boards; grants
(a) Pursuant to the authority established under section 1938 of this title, and in collaboration with law enforcement agencies, investigative agencies, victims’ advocates, and social service providers, the Department of State’s Attorneys and Sheriffs shall coordinate efforts to provide access in each region of the State to special investigative units which:
(1) shall investigate:
(A) an incident in which a child suffers, by other than accidental means, serious bodily injury as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 1021; and
(B) potential violations of:
(i) 13 V.S.A. § 2602 (lewd or lascivious conduct with child);
(ii) 13 V.S.A. chapter 60 (human trafficking);
(iii) 13 V.S.A. chapter 64 (sexual exploitation of children);
(iv) 13 V.S.A. chapter 72 (sexual assault); and
(v) 13 V.S.A. § 1379 (sexual abuse of a vulnerable adult); and
(2) may investigate:
(A) an incident in which a child suffers:
(i) bodily injury, by other than accidental means, as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 1021; or
(B) potential violations of:
(i) 13 V.S.A. § 2601 (lewd and lascivious conduct);
(ii) 13 V.S.A. § 2605 (voyeurism); and
(iii) 13 V.S.A. § 1304 (cruelty to a child); and
(3) may assist with the investigation of other incidents, including incidents involving domestic violence and crimes against vulnerable adults.
(b) A special investigative unit organized and operating under this section may accept, receive, and disburse in furtherance of its duties and functions any funds, grants, and services made available by the State of Vermont and its agencies, the federal government and its agencies, any municipality or other unit of local government, or private or civic sources. Any employee covered by an agreement establishing a special investigative unit shall remain an employee of the donor agency.
(c) A Special Investigative Unit Grants Board is created, which shall comprise the Attorney General, the Secretary of Administration, the Executive Director of State’s Attorneys and Sheriffs, the Commissioner of Public Safety, the Commissioner for Children and Families, a representative of the Vermont Sheriffs’ Association, a representative of the Vermont Association of Chiefs of Police, the Executive Director of the Center for Crime Victim Services, and the Executive Director of the Vermont League of Cities and Towns. Special investigative units organized and operating under this section may apply to the Board for a grant or grants covering the costs of salaries and employee benefits to be expended during a given year for the performance of unit duties as well as unit operating costs for rent, utilities, equipment, training, and supplies. Grants under this section shall be approved by a majority of the entire Board and shall not exceed 50 percent of the yearly salary and employee benefit costs of the unit. Preference shall be given to grant applications which include the participation of the Department of Public Safety, the Department for Children and Families, sheriffs’ departments, community victims’ advocacy organizations, and municipalities within the region. Preference shall also be given to grant applications which promote policies and practices that are consistent across the State, including policies and practices concerning the referral of complaints, the investigation of cases, and the supervision and management of special investigative units. However, a sheriff’s department in a county with a population of fewer than 8,000 residents shall upon application receive a grant of up to $20,000.00 for 50 percent of the yearly salary and employee benefits costs of a part-time special investigative unit investigator, which shall be paid to the department as time is billed on a per hour rate as agreed by contract up to the maximum amount of the grant.
(d) The Board may adopt rules relating to grant eligibility criteria, processes for applications, awards, and reports related to grants authorized pursuant to this section. The Attorney General shall be the adopting authority. (Added 2005, No. 83, § 12; amended 2005, No. 192 (Adj. Sess.), § 5, eff. May 26, 2006; 2009, No. 1, § 52a, eff. March 4, 2009; 2009, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § E.206; 2009, No. 157 (Adj. Sess.), § 15; 2015, No. 60, § 15.)