BURLINGTON – In a move led by Burlington City Council Member Liberta Terrian, all funding for the B.P.D. was eliminated at last night’s Zoom Council Meeting. The Vermont State Police immediately hired the entire Burlington Force, creating a new Queen City Barracks.
According to V.S.P. spokesperson Kay Ann Pepper, “Funding for the 100 new troopers, now and in the future, will come from a state-imposed income tax on all Burlington residents.” Pepper was quick to clarify that, “this would include college students who reside anywhere in the Queen City.” Former Police Chief and now V.S.P. Sgt. Major Warren Stetson says he was told that pay will be doubled for the new Troopers, meaning the new income tax must bring in 35.4 million dollars in the first year.
Defending the defunding, City Councilor Anne Archey stated, “This is the last thing we wanted! It changes our Sanctuary City protocols as the Troopers don’t have to answer to us. They have handcuffed us from having a wide open community free of the rule of law.”
Members of the former Burlington Police Commission were not immediately available for comment as they were in Minneapolis attending sensitivity training and unaware they lost their positions as well as funds for the return trip to Burlington. Commissioners have started a Go Fund Me campaign to pay for the flight home.