On June 1, 2020 – Chief of Police Rick Hebert released a statement regarding George Floyd. He stated: “Once again, we find ourselves devastated by an appalling and heartbreaking use of force incident that has resulted in those we have sworn to protect and serve, fearing for their own safety at the hands of those whose duty it is to keep them safe … To stand as a profession and condemn the actions of the officers involved in these many tragic events is a start, but we need to do so much more. Most importantly police executives need to take steps to ensure the officers under their command are provided a culture that values equality, respect, human dignity and above all the sanctity of all human life. Leadership needs to continuously support and promote these values and recognize officers that are positive examples in their agency.”
Many of our residents have asked about our current policing policies, the work that we’ve done as a department and City, and the work we’re dedicated to continue to do. We outline those below and also welcome the opportunity to engage with and talk with all members of our community about how Winooski can be a safe, healthy, and connected City into the future. The following is a review of WPD’s initiatives that provide equitable services:
“8 Can’t Wait” Policies
Our current Use of Force Policy (UOF) outlines several of these items. Currently, WPD addresses all 8 items through training, daily practice, and other documents. Chief Hebert is reviewing our Use of Force Policy and will be presenting a new draft to include all 8 elements.
Reporting Use of Force
WPD’s UOF contains the following directives on reporting the use of force:
Fair and Impartial Policing – WPD has one of the strongest Fair and Impartial Policing policies in Vermont. The purpose of this policy is to require that all WPD employees conduct policing in a fair and impartial manner and to reinforce procedures that enable us to provide services and enforce laws in an equitable and impartial way.
Body Cameras – WPD has used body cameras for over 12 years and will continue to rely on this important resource in support of transparency and the safety of our residents and officers.
Integrating Communications, Assessment, and Tactics Training Model
The Integrating Communications, Assessment, and Tactics (ICAT) model is designed especially for situations involving persons who are unarmed or are armed with weapons other than firearms, and who may be experiencing a mental health or other crisis. The training program is anchored by the Critical Decision-Making Model that helps officers assess situations, make safe and effective decisions, and document and learn from their actions. WPD has 2 instructors on staff and trains annually in this program, allowing officers to take time developing alternate responses. WPD utilizes the critical decision making model seen here: ICAT Training Model
Community Development Work
Other efforts that inform WPD’s actions and policing culture are:
Community Policing Strategic Plan
Our Community Policing Strategic Plan was developed with the assistance of various community members and designed around embracing Community Policing and the 6 pillars located in President Obama’s Task Force Report on 21st Century Policing. Feedback via community outreach events, surveys, and employee input played a critical role in creating this document. The goals and actions in the plan will serve as a blueprint for our daily activities and be delivered to you with the qualities that we hold most dear - Integrity, Fairness, Honesty, Excellence, Transparency and Compassion. Important areas of this plan are:
WPD will continue to invest in the community and ourselves through these policies and our ongoing dedication to the City’s equity and inclusion initiatives. We will continue to host block parties, BBQ’s, educational opportunities, coffee sessions, and discussions. We always welcome any and all community feedback – feel free to reach out any time:
Rick Hebert, Chief of Police
firstname.lastname@example.org / 802 655 0221
Download this update.