University of Vermont

UVM Police Services

About Us: Department News Archive

What's New at UVM Police for 2015

Vest Carriers:
You will notice many of our patrol officers are wearing a black external vest this year. This vest is a carrier system that is the result of 20 years of research into officer wellness and injury reduction. The intent of this carrier is two-fold:

  • To have a way to carry the protective ballistic panels that all Police Services officers are required to wear while in uniform and on duty while providing officers a way to stay comfortable. Prior to this year officers wore their ballistic vests under the green uniform shirt. It was very difficult to get cool air to the core of the officer’s body. The external vest allows the officers to remove the vest while in the office, and put it on quickly should the need arise.
  • To relieve stress on the officers back and hips. The weight of the equipment officers have traditionally carried on their duty belt is in excess of 15 lbs. Ergonomic studies have suggested that removing weight from around the waist reduces stress on the lower back, especially when sitting. The external carriers allow for the redistribution of weight and improved long-term health of the officers.

Body Worn Cameras:
For several years, UVM-Police Services has been testing and evaluating “body worn camera” (BWC) devices. The goal has been to see if BWC will improve officer efficiency and effectiveness, as well as increase our transparency. We (both management and the officers themselves) have concluded moving forward with this effort is a win-win for everyone involved.

As a result of this evaluation process, as well as the documented success of BWC systems in other communities, the department planned to institute use of these devices during this (2016) fiscal year.

UVM Police worked with best practice subject matter experts nationally to develop a solid departmental policy, an officer training program, as well as a procedure for managing the media collected.

The importance of UVM-PS’s incorporating body-worn cameras into its public safety activities has been a priority for several years. Nationwide, not only is it hoped that these types of systems will lead to greater officer safety, but they are rapidly becoming an important feature in policing to improve police-community relations. UVM-PS believes that our use of the BWC will further advance our positive reputation by continuing to grow the public trust in and engagement with our outstanding police department. The members of the UVM community, our guests, and all persons coming into contact with our Police Services as well as the dedicated officers deserve no less.

A recent International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA) survey concluded that campuses across the country are finding great benefit in the use of BWC:
  • Enhanced public trust;
  • Enhanced officer safety;
  • Preservation of visual and audio information for use in current and future investigations;
  • Documentation of crime or incident scenes;
  • Enhanced officer ability to document and review statements and actions for reporting purposes and criminal prosecution;
  • Serve as a tool for officer training.
At UVM Police Services, we expect that the use of these systems will evolve over time and with experience. Officers will be turning the cameras on for events such as:
  • Any call for service
  • Officer initiated contacts
  • Any report of a crime or active incident (such as a fight or disturbance) in progress;
  • Arrests and investigative detentions;
  • Traffic stops and pursuits;
  • Searches;
  • Mental health calls or any other incidents where a person is presenting an altered mental status; and
  • Events and incidents reasonably foreseeable to be confrontational such as: citizen contacts, interactions with aggressive subjects, and responses to resistance/uses of force (factors in determining that they are foreseeable include, but are not limited to, initial reports, subject actions upon arrival, and prior history with a subject or location).
Examples of when officers will generally not activate the cameras include: personal time (breaks, meals, etc.), committee meetings, officer provided training for the campus community, conversations with other officers, supervisors or other University officials, or in other general community engagement activities.

Inside a residence hall room or other legally protected space, absent exigent circumstances, it is required that officers advise those present that a recording is being captured. In other settings, when feasible, officers are trained to inform individuals that they are being recorded whenever possible.

The current technology does not allow the camera system to record for a full 10 hour shift, and video storage technology/cost would make it prohibitive to store 10 hours of video per day for every officer. Cameras will have a 30 second pre-activation capture and officers will be trained in the facets of the system.

Additional information governing the use of body worn cameras is included in department policy and is available for public viewing on our website at:

This update is available in PDF form at:

The University of Vermont Department of Police Services is scheduled for an on-site assessment as part of a program to achieve re-accreditation by verifying it meets professional standards.

Administered by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA), the accreditation program requires agencies to comply with state-of-the-art standards in four basic areas: policy and procedures, administration, operations, and support services.

As part of the on-site assessment, agency employees and members of the community are invited to offer comments at a public information session on Wednesday, August 29, 2012 at 4:00 p.m. The session will be conducted in room 427A, located in the Waterman Building, UVM campus, College St., Burlington, VT.

Agency employees and the public are also invited to offer comments by calling 656-1031 on August 29, 2012 between the hours of 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. Comments will be taken by the Assessment Team.

Telephone comments, as well as appearances at the public information session, are limited to 10 minutes and must address the agency’s ability to comply with CALEA’s standards. A copy of the standards is available for review at UVM Police Services headquarters, 284 East Ave., Burlington, VT. Local contact is Accreditation Manager Sue Lowrey at 656-5751.

Anyone wishing to submit written comments about UVM Police Services’ ability to comply with the standards for accreditation may send them to the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement, Inc. (CALEA), 13575 Heathcote Boulevard, Suite 320 Gainesville, Virginia 20155

Printable Version (.doc)

Race Data Report Released

Report: Racial Disparities in Policing? An Assessment of 2009-10 Traffic Stop Data in Chittenden County, Vermont: Download PDF

Chiefs’ Statement Regarding Race Data Collection: Download PDF

Chiefs’ Statement Regarding Race Data Collection April 2, 2012

Joint statement of:

Chief Steve McQueen, Winooski Police Department;
Chief Michael Schirling, Burlington Police Department;
Chief Lianne Tuomey, University of Vermont Police Services;
Chief Trevor Whipple, South Burlington Police Department

We are pleased today to be part of the continued evolution of law enforcement operations and community partnership in Vermont, with the release of the second Race Data Collection report for traffic stop data across four Chittenden County Police agencies. As you may know, this is work that has been recognized by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) as award-winning, culminating in the presentation of the IACP Civil Rights Award in the multi-agency category in October 2011. Today marks another key point in a five-year journey involving many community stakeholders who have sought to build on the solid foundation of our efforts to foster mutual trust between the community and law enforcement officers. There are many who have expended much effort to bring the partnership this far. Among them:

  • Dr. Stephanie Seguino, Dr. Nancy Brooks, and Kyle Mitofsky who have volunteered their expertise and done extensive and exemplary work during the analysis process.
  • The Members, past and present, of the Uncommon Alliance Steering Committee.
  • The countless community members who have attended and actively participated in Uncommon Alliance meetings and community discussions over the past four years.
  • Our many criminal justice partners.
  • All of the police officers and support personnel who have worked to collect data in their daily work and who work tirelessly each day to keep our communities and all members of our communities, safe.

Our message today largely echoes our message from 15 months ago. Today, however, we have more robust data from which to work. As we have consistently stated, the issue of race disparity in our country is one filled with passion, emotion, and extensive and often tragic history. Embedded within that history are images and stories of police, the enforcement arm of government, and the entire criminal justice system being used as a direct instrumentality of racism and bias. Those images exist in stark contrast to basic values of the justice system that we strive every day to uphold. Sadly, this history tarnished the integrity of these critical institutions, which exist to translate the ideal of equality before the law into practice.

Equally as consistent is the level of performance and service to the community by the award-winning officers and staff that are the backbone of the Departments doing this critical work. Today, recognizing that disparity continues to exist in the criminal justice system at all levels, we are committed to working tirelessly to both learn and distance ourselves from those historic events, to grow as a community, as organizations, and as individuals.

Today the manner in which law enforcement operates in Vermont bears little resemblance to that history. Our challenge lies in educating all members of the justice system, identifying and correcting biases, and fulfilling our commitment to the values of justice, fairness, and public safety, and to robustly address disparate treatment when and where it exists. Without this fundamental commitment, we risk eroding the very foundations of due process and the rule of law that we stand for.

Among our key roles, and the one highlighted today, is to mitigate the impact of those biases in law enforcement operations and in the criminal justice system as a whole. Bias in law enforcement and criminal justice not only adversely impacts those who bias is exerted on, sometimes by dehumanizing them, but erodes the effectiveness of the criminal justice system by distracting resources from real problems.

The data analysis report released today is an important step in that process – in the evolution of our respective law enforcement organizations, the Uncommon Alliance, and policing in Vermont. It is, however, just one small piece of a large and complex puzzle. Policing our communities without bias requires many things including:

  • Good hiring practices that involve community stakeholders and are reflective of our shared values
  • Effective, ongoing training at all levels of the criminal justice system
  • Thoughtful policy development
  • Bold and effective leadership and supervision
  • Community partnerships like the Uncommon Alliance and others, which enhance accountability to the community
  • An accessible and effective complaint and review process
  • And the collection and analysis of data – as demonstrated here

The report released today highlights something that we have long known – that disparity along racial lines exists in the way the criminal justice system, and many other systems, operate.

This data collection project represents not only an effort at trust building, but as important, the implementation of a learning tool for law enforcement agencies. Law enforcement in the 21st century is complex and complicated, and concern regarding bias in policing is one of many daily challenges we face. The increasing level of complexity, particularly in proactive law enforcement operations that are so critical to detecting crime and ensuring community safety, must achieve balance. Balance in mitigating the impact of bias in our operations but also balance in ensuring that the issue of bias and profiling is not used improperly, and in ensuring that our officers and staff have the support and confidence that they so richly deserve in carrying out their daily work. It is important to recognize but not overemphasize that there are those who use this issue as a means to attempt to intimidate officers from doing their job. We must continue to work toward meaningful solutions to all of these issues through building meaningful relationship and trust with the community.

This tool will continue to help inform our future conversations, shape our continued efforts, and help guide us to the next step in the important process of mitigating bias in policing. It is an opportunity to renew our collective commitment to continue to work together as a community on this important topic. The end goal is simple – to shift the thought process from one where law enforcement is sometimes seen as an instrument of bias to one where law enforcement is seen as the leader in protecting our communities from bias.

You have our sincere commitment to continuing this work with the Uncommon Alliance, community members and leaders, and within our own law enforcement organizations – each rich with a dedicated staff of professional law enforcement officers, dispatchers, and support staff working each day to protect our communities and deliver world-class service – to ensure that our communities are safe, livable, and free from bias for all those who live, work, and visit them.

Report: Racial Disparities in Policing? An Assessment of 2009-10 Traffic Stop Data in
Chittenden County, Vermont
: Download PDF

Printable version of Chiefs’ Statement: Download PDF

Police Use of Force

Police Use of Force in a Free and Constitutional Society

Police use of force in the United States has always been a challenge to understand and justify in our free and open society. General guidance is found both in the United States Constitution (in particular the fourth amendment identifying force as a “seizure”). Further guidance is based in state constitutions as well as state law. Additional direction is also provided in court rulings promulgated from state and federal courts. Finally, the University of Vermont Police Services operationalizes the aforementioned guidance into policy and training.

Even after great study of these guiding principles, each and every decision an officer makes in the application of force—which is based upon subject resistance and/or aggression to the officer’s seizure, must be viewed in context of the facts and circumstances known to the officer at the time the officer takes action. Context is therefore critical in each and every decision to use force.

With that being said, as an internationally accredited police agency, the University of Vermont Police proffers the following policy to which it trains every officer to understand and apply to the fullest extent possible.

Linked here is an abridged text of the University of Vermont Police’s policy entitled:
"Use of Force; Response to Resistance / Aggression."

UVM Police K-9 program

UVM Police is proud to announce the addition of its newest police officer, Dozer. His partner, Officer Chris Hunter, has been appointed K-9 handler after developing the program's proposal and policy. K-9 Dozer is currently in for narcotics detection and search/tracking.

Organization of Investigative Services Unit

Key changes in personnel mark the beginning of a newly organized Investigative Services Unit, staffed by Detectives Brandon King and Edward Doherty, and supervised by Sgt. Tim Bilodeau.

Officer Promotions

During our 2007 awards ceremony in May UVM Police was proud to announce the promotion of Detective Tim Bilodeau to the position of Sergeant. Also, falling directly underneath Sgt. Bilodeau's supervision, Officer Brandon King was transferred to the position of Detective.

Chief Margolis named commissioner for the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies

Chief Gary J. Margolis was named a commissioner for the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. UVM Police Services is a twice internationally accredited police organization. The Commission accredits police agencies, training academies and communications centers around the world.

New Officers

UVM Police welcomes its newest officer additions. Officer William Sioss and Christiana Coyner completed their training at the Vermont Police Academy and will directly begin their field training.

Chief Margolis named CALEA Commissioner

The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies has announced that UVM Police Chief Gary Margolis has been named to the Commission for a 3 year term beginning January 1, 2007. Chief Margolis will become part of the 21 person Commission which oversees the accreditation of police agencies, communications units, and training academies.

UVM Hires 2 New Officers

Chief Gary Margolis is pleased to announce that Mandy Wooster and Skyler Genest have joined the team as patrol officers. Ofc's Genest and Wooster will be attending the VT Police Academy at the end of January for their 16 week basic training program.

Officer Chris Hunter Returns

UVM Police Officer Christopher Hunter returned last Friday night (12/16/05) from an 18 month deployment in Iraq/Kuwait. We're excited to have him back.

Lianne Tuomey Receives National Award

Captain Lianne Tuomey, Captain of Operations at the University of Vermont Department of Police Services, has a personal and professional mission statement that declares her desire to challenge myself, and inspire others to seek our full potential, individually and collectively in attaining our goals. That leadership style and her passion to serve her community and fellow officers has earned Tuomey this years Woman Law Enforcement Executive of the Year Award, sponsored by the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives (NAWLEE) and Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT). Tuomey is being honored for her achievements at this years annual NAWLEE conference in Houston. Tuomey is a 23-year police veteran having served in all facets of policing. She retired from the Burlington, Vt. Police Department as a lieutenant to pursue career opportunities with the University of Vermont Department of Police Services. As police operations captain, Tuomey is responsible for all university police service operations. She was instrumental in leading the agencys community policing efforts which were recognized by the International Association of Police Chiefs. Jointly sponsored by NAWLEE and Motorola, the Woman Law Enforcement Executive of the Year Award was established in 2003 to recognize an executive who has exhibited sustained extraordinary accomplishments, demonstrating leadership, creativity and support of NAWLEE goals. These include promoting the ideals and principles of women executives in law enforcement; conducting training seminars to train and educate women executives in law enforcement; and providing a forum for the exchange of information about law enforcement. This award recognizes an individual who has distinguished herself in our organization, her profession and her community, said Susan Kyzer, President of NAWLEE and Executive Director for the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation. Captain Tuomeys leadership has been evident throughout her career and also in her service to NAWLEE. She has served as NAWLEEs 2nd Vice President since August 2002 and was instrumental in developing NAWLEEs Mentoring Program, which she continues to support as executive board liaison to the mentoring committee. Tuomey said her passion has always been service. In 2002, she was honored by her current department members with a nomination to receive the departments Leadership Award. She has also been awarded the Medal of Valor, Medal of Lifesaving, Crisis Negotiator Award and Meritorious Service Medal over the course of her career. Tuomey is an adjunct instructor at the Vermont Police Academy, where she teaches, coaches and mentors new officers and she has also been an adjunct professor at Norwich University. A graduate of the FBI National Academy, Tuomey is a recognized expert and lecturer internationally in critical incident stress management. Motorola is proud to be part of this significant leadership award for law enforcement executives, said Jackie Wasni, Motorola Communications & Electronics, Inc. vice president and representative of the companys Womens Business Council Committee. Captain Tuomeys passion to serve others and her selfless leadership exemplify the best in her profession. Her outstanding achievements are an inspiration for other women police officers to meet the current and future leadership challenges in law enforcement.

UVM Police Officers Honored In Washington, DC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 20, 2005 MEDIA CONTACT: Lynn Lyons-Wynne (NLEOMF) (202)737-3400 OFFICERS ROBERTS, BELLAVANCE AND SULLIVAN NAMED OFFICER OF THE MONTH BY THE NATIONAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS MEMORIAL FUND WASHINGTON, D.CThe National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) has announced the selection of University of Vermont Police Officers Jason Bellavance, Sue E. Roberts, and William A. Sullivan, III as the Officers of the Month for April 2005. The 911 call came at 12 noon on Sunday, January 31, 2005, a call that would soon make three otherwise ordinary law enforcement officers heroes. Officers Sullivan and Field Trainee Bellavance responded to the call of a gas leak in a privately owned residence hall on the University of Vermont campus. Upon arrival the officers were informed that many residents in the building were either dead or unconscious. Officer Sullivan instructed Officer Bellavance to remain outside and maintain a calming presence for those who were able to leave the building. Officer Sullivan then entered the building, where he too immediately felt the effects of the lack of oxygen. Entering the first apartment, Officer Sullivan saw the body of a man lying in the bedroom. Due to the condition of the body, he believed the gentleman to be dead. He yelled at the man several times, and after no response, began to feel his own desperate need for oxygen. Officer Sullivan ran outside, caught his breath, and ran back into the same fume-ridden apartment again. This time he found a woman who was, in fact, still breathing. Again, he was forced to leave the apartment to breathe. Realizing there were still people in apartments upstairs, Officer Sullivan climbed the stairs in a weakened physical state. At the top of the stairs, his knees buckled and he felt as if he had hit a wall. He continued to go on, knowing there were people who still needed his help. As Officer Sullivan entered apartment 3-11, he located a woman on her back in the bedroom. She did not respond to his calls, and he noticed her eyes were open and dilated. He came across a second woman in the apartment, attempting to crawl in the hallway. Feeling lightheaded and breathless, he was forced to flee the apartment for oxygen; he could not carry the women in his weakened condition. Once outside, Officer Sullivan ordered Officer Bellavance and the Rescue Crew Chief to keep everyone out of the building. Officer Bellavance was tasked as the site safety officer, as Officer Sullivan and Officer Sue Roberts, who had just arrived on the scene, reentered the building in an attempt to ventilate the space. They were able to open the back doors and window, but could not get the window open in the bedroom where the breathing woman lay. Again, they were forced to exit for oxygen. In another attempt to enter the apartment, both officers were so overcome by the fumes that they had to turn back. The Burlington Fire Department arrived and a second shift of police officers was called to the scene. Officer Sullivan reentered apartment 3-11 with the first firefighter where they triaged the first woman on the floor and carried the second from the apartment. Officer Sullivan was on his way down the stairs when he lost his remaining strength and stamina. He could not reenter the building but informed fire fighters of the other incapacitated people left stranded in the building. Seven people were rescued from the apartment building by Officer Sullivan, Officer Roberts, and a Burlington (VT) firefighter. All seven have fully recovered from the incident. Officer Sullivan and Officer Roberts were admitted to the Emergency Room where they were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning. The collective efforts of Officers Sullivan, Bellavance and Roberts saved the lives of seven people that Sunday in January. Their bravery, persistence, and fighting determination are what made them heroes. The sacrifices and courage of law enforcement officers is what we remember and commemorate every day. Located in our nations capital, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring the service and sacrifice of Americas law enforcement officers. The NLEOMF established the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in 1991 and is now working to build a national law enforcement museum. The NLEOMF Officer of the Month Program, which began in 1996, recognizes federal, state and local officers who distinguish themselves through exemplary law enforcement service and devotion to duty. ### (NOTE TO THE EDITOR: All of the tributes to the Memorial Funds Officers of the Month, along with information about how to nominate an officer for this award, can be found on the organizations Web site at

Heroic Action

On Sunday, January 30. 2005, UVM Police received a 911 call from the Redstone Apartments on South Prospect Street. Officers responded to discover a gas leak and one death. Officers Sue Roberts, Bill Sullivan and Jason Bellavance entered the building and pulled 7 people out of the building whereby saving their lives. Police Services is proud of their efforts and the efforts of the Burlington Fire Fighter who also risked his life to save others.

2 Graduate from Academy

UVM Police is proud to welcome Officers Christopher Hunter and Joseph McBride back from the Vermont Police Academy. Officers Hunter and McBride graduated on Friday, Nov 19 from the Academy located in Pittsford. They begin their field training program immediately.

Officer Chris Hunter Leaves for Iraq

UVM Police Officer Chris Hunter has been activated and is leaving for Iraq in early December. We wish him only the best and look forward to his return.

Self Defense Class for Women

Womens Self Defense! Class meets every Monday in November, 6-9pm (course is 12 hrs total). Women UVMers! Learn basic self-defense skills you can use to defend yourself. Try your new moves out in a simulation at the end of your FREE training. Open to UVM students, staff and faculty. Call now for location and to reserve your spot. Ask for Sue Roberts @ 656-3473.

Officer Sue Robers is famous!

Officer Sue Roberts appears on the cover of the Sept issue of the Police Chief Magazine.

Newest Officers Attend the Vermont Police Academy

Police Services is proud to announce our newest officers Jason Bellavance, Joseph McBride, and Christopher Hunter. Officers McBride and Hunter began the 78th Basic Training Class for Police Professionals at the Vermont Police Academy in August. Officer Bellavance leaves in January for the 79th Basic Training Class. We're excited to have them on board and look forward to their contributions to the university and department.

Newest Service Officer

Police Services is pleased to announce the newest Service Officer, William Conn. Bill started in July and comes from a long career in the power industry.

Home from Iraq

We're excited to welcome Service Officer Pat Bourgeois back from a tour of duty in Afghanistan/Iraq. We're very proud of Pat and grateful that he returned safely.

Frennier Promoted

Officer Scott Frennier was promoted to the rank of Sergeant at the annual department awards and recognition ceremony. According to Chief Margolis, "Scott possesses the kind of enthusiasm, experience and leadership potential that will ensure his success in this important position."

Sgt. Frennier's duties began at the end of June.

Awards Ceremony

Police Services held our 3rd annual Award and Recognition Ceremony on Wednesday, June 16, 2004. You can learn more about the award and those in the agency and community that received them under our "About Us" link.

We Say Goodbye to Friends...

The following people are retiring this month from Police Services. We wish them the best in their future endeavors.

Sgt. Gregory Domingue

Officer Robert Ketcham

Service Officer Kathey Berg

Service Officer Rickard Berg

Police Services Welcomes 2 New Officers!

January 2004 saw the addition of Officers Brandon King and Michael Blow to the Department of Police Services team. They leave for the VT Police Academy's 4 month training program on February 8, 2004.


UVM Police Services became an accredited police agency through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) at a ceremony in Colorado Springs, CO on November 22, 2003. Contact Chief Margolis for more information.

UVM Police Receives HSA Grant

UVM Police Services received a $23,000 grant from the Homeland Security Agency for homeland security needs on campus.

New Web Page Unveiled

Police Services is excited to announce our new web pages. The new site is designed to be more user friendly and aesthetically pleasing. Members of our community and report crime, watch useful tips on crime prevention and personal safety, and apply for employment opportunities. Thanks to the UVM Center for Teaching & Learning's Digital Media Lab for their excellent design skills.

Training Announcement

The University of Vermont Department of Police Services in conjunction with the Multijurisdictional Counterdrug Task Force Training (MCTFT) Institute is hosting a two week drug task force investigations school August 18-29, 2003. The training is free, but participants are responsible for lodging and meal charges while attending. Details about the format and content of the school can be found at the MCTFT website. The class size is limited to 36 students. To register, contact Detective Timothy Bilodeau or Captain Lianne Tuomey of UVM Police Services at (802) 656-2027.

UVM Police Wins Award

Police Services received an award as a finalist in the IACP/ITT Community Policing Award in Minneapolis, MN during the IACP Annual Conference. UVM Press Release

UVM Wins Best Uniforms

Police Services wins "BEST UNIFORM AWARD" at the Vermont Police Associations 2002 Convention.

Department Celebrates Milestone

On June 27, 2002 the department celebrated our 10th Year Anniversary and Award Ceremony at the Billings North Lounge. See our Awards and Commendations page for details.

For current news stories, visit the News Page.

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