BURLINGTON – Think of a police quartet singing “Moonlight In Vermont” on Church Street on a Friday evening. The Burlington Police Commission has adopted a proposal they feel will be more socially interactive between police and the public. All officers, from Patrolman to Chief, will undergo vocal training with Burlington songstress Bea Flatte. Police will be trained in ‘harmony based’ methods to deal with crisis. Flatte stated that it is better for police to approach suspects singing ‘I Got You Babe’ rather than saying “You’re Under Arrest.”
Burlington Street Crimes Unit Commander Dora M’Faso says the idea has merits. “My officers can do Rap, Soul, Country, Rock or Sentimental Oldies depending on the circumstances of the call.” At BTV the lines at boarding gates could hear ‘Leaving On A Jet Plane’ and Flash Mob participation may be an unexpected benefit.
Commissioner Auckey Pella says this kinder and gentler approach is long overdue. “Think of the tourism benefit of a community with singing police officers. People will smile when officers now say they have records!” Officers singing to protestors, ‘It’s Your Thing, Do What You Want to Do,’ is in keeping with City Council ethic, according to Kerry A. Tuner of the Queen City Office of Community Relations and Protest.
Song books will be distributed to officers in the next few days, as well as certain more portable instruments, such as guitars, bugles, lutes, and violins. The Police Chief Search Committee, headed by Knight Lee Singer, says it prefers a candidate with a Masters Degree in Music Education rather than Criminal Justice.
Bea Flatte does note that certain songs will be banned, including ‘I Fought The Law And The Law Won.’ “We hope to have one shift renamed ‘Guitars & Guns’ and sales of CDs would benefit under privileged areas of the community.” Flatte’s original idea of offering streaming downloads was shot down when it was noted that most of the state has little to no internet access.