Media Releases

Residents and Police Chief Doucette at National Night OutMedia Releases and News

Feel free to contact the department online for any media related information by using the information below.

Contact Information:

By mail:
Bennington Police Department
118 South Street
Bennington, VT 05201

By phone:
(802) 442-1030 or (802) 442-2396
Media Releases and News
Superhero 5K - November, 2022
Police Department at Superhero 5K

Superhero 5K

Each year the Bennington Police Department is proud to support the annual Superhero 5K race. The event is organized by United Counseling Service and is very popular with dozens of runners competing in the fun event. In addition to the race, there are informational tables and a Kid's Dash. 

The event is held in early November.
Back to School Backpack Event - coming Aug. 18th, 2022
BENNINGTON - The annual Back to School Backpack Giveaway, one of the area's most popular events for children, is scheduled for Aug. 18 from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Bennington Auto Mall on Performance Drive.

Featuring gifts of backpacks stuffed with school supplies for children soon to return to the classroom, the event - sponsored by the dealership, the Bennington Banner and Fidium Fiber Internet - features free demonstrations, activities, refreshments and entertainment provided by community partners.

"We love to do these kinds of events," said Jordan Brechenser, president and publisher of the Bennington Banner. "Getting kids and families prepared to re-enter the school year can be difficult for many; we hope this fun, family-friendly event helps get our area kids ready for the new school year."

Community partners include the Bennington Police Department and Gracie the police K-9; the Bennington Fire Department with a truck and fire hose to entertain the kids; and displays or services by the Bennington Rescue Squad, Sunrise Family Resource Center, Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union, United Counseling Service, the Head Start program, 802 Restrooms, Ocean State Job Lot, VNA & Hospice of the Southwest Region, Park-McCullough Historic Governor's Mansion, The Collaborative, the Alliance for Community Transformations, and Staples.

Food will be provided free of charge by Green Mountain Concessions, Hannaford market, the Hemmings Motor News popcorn truck, and The Abby Group.

Entertainment will offered by A&M Entertainment (a bouncy house), Mission City Church (face painting); World of Wonder (princesses and superheroes); Gloria Sheelah (hair braiding), and the YMCA/Recreation Center (children's games).

"We really need to give the credit to our sponsors on this, Bennington Auto Mall and Fidium Fiber, as well as the various organizations that help to pull it all off," said Brechenser. "They make it possible and provide the funding necessary to get all these backpacks and supplies together."

The first 250 children will receive backpacks with school supplies, said Vermont News & Media advertising sales manager Susan Plaisance.

Children must be present at the event and accompanied by a parent.

"We just love putting these events together for the community and the Back to School is my favorite," Plaisance said. "Like previous years, Bennington Auto Mall has stepped up and is game for anything! And new to this event this year is Fidium Fiber. We simply cannot do these events without their help. This year so many of our community partners have stepped in to make this the biggest Back to School event ever!"

Bradley Croff, general manager of the dealership, said, "Bennington Auto Mall is proud to give back to our community and help our local children get the backpacks and school supplies they need to succeed!"

Police Chief Paul Doucette commented, "Members of the Bennington Police Department are looking forward to participating in another backpack challenge event this year. We will be at the event with a stocked Copsicle trailer and look forward to handing out backpacks to area children. It is a pleasure to see all the smiles on the faces of the kids and the even bigger smiles on the faces of the parents!

"Personally," he added, "I am looking forward to the face painting and delicious cotton candy again this year!"

Jim Therrien
Compliments of: The Bennington Banner
National Night Out 2022
Chief Doucette with Sarah Perrin and Katherine Doucette

National Night Out

National Night Out poster 2022Tuesday August 2, 2022, was the second annual National Night Out Community Picnic and it was great to see a huge turnout of well over 350 people.

Hosted by the Bennington Police Department, the event included the Fire Department who used their ladder truck to create a monster sprinkler for kids and adults alike to cool off. One great photo shows Assistant Chief Nate Berres climbing the ladder to adjust the spray in a view that makes him appear to be climbing right over the Battle Monument. 

The Highway Department brought out several large trucks and highway equipment to the delight of kids (and parents too) who greatly enjoyed the experience of getting to sit in these big machines.

Bennington Select board member Sarah Perrin and her husband, Bennington State representative Michael Nigro were very busy giving away cotton candy, including one massive cone of cotton candy to Chief Doucette and his daughter Katherine. Bennington Select Board members Jeannie Jenkins and Jeanne Conner were also both on hand enjoying the evening and meeting with residents.

Town office staff helped out too, and Melissa Currier and her daughter made tons of popcorn which was a big hit. The Heritage Family Credit Union gave out dozens of piggy banks to kids for pitching corn hole bags.

A tremendous effort by the police department pulled everything together; cooking hundreds of hot dogs, giving away a hundred backpacks filled with school supplies, giving rides for folks on the Humvee and UTVs, and most importantly – building relationships and good will within the community.

This years event was about double the size of last years. We look forward to an even bigger National Night Out community picnic next year!
New Experience Camp - August 1, 2022
New Experience Campers

New Discovery Camp 2022

New Experiences is a camp run by our Bennington Police Department with the goal of providing a challenging and rewarding experiences for youth in our community. Each day has a different focus and the program launched this week with a visit to Southwest Tech.

Ever want to take a look “under the hood” of a car? How about a taking a walk literally UNDER a car! Campers got a nuts and bolts look at the Automotive Shop at southwest tech and checked out an electric car as well. 

Kids got to try their hand using power equipment under the close eye of the folks at the Wood Shop and got to build their own customized balance boards in the process. 

A taste of the culinary arts took the form of pizza making and a science lesson rolled into one. Chef Nick Delauri introduced campers to the art of dough making, the how and why of yeast, and how to make a perfect personal pizza. What goes in first? What goes in last? And why? (Water is first, and salt is last FYI)

Campers also took a dive into the world of forensics… from fingerprinting to making molds of tracks in the earth, kids got to try out these techniques first hand. Led by Mr. Lawson, the group also talked about the our constitutional rights — WHEN can you be searched? What is “unreasonable” search and seizure? The Constitution protects citizens by spelling out what the government can and cannot do… but what abut your parents? Can they search your room? A spirited discussion by campers explored these issues and more. Spoiler alert… your parents CAN search your room :)

During lunch, Nicole Sauer, the educational community outreach coordinator, and Lisa Harrington, school counselor, chatted with the campers about Southwest Tech. Students learned that there are many career pathways and that Southwest Tech is a great resource for everyone interested in a  career, anything ranging from doctors to electricians! Southwest Tech is a school in its own right — serving numerous towns in the area.

New Experiences camp is an annual event. The adventures continue for the rest of this week at a different location each day. Sign up to be in the camp is usually in April or May until filled. The week-long camp is a great way for kids to learn new skills while doing fun activities and building positive relationships. We look forward to next year

New Experience Campers
Click-It or Ticket Program - April, 2022
Allen FortinSix years ago Al Fortin had an idea on how to save the lives of Vermonters.

Al is a Lieutenant with the Chittenden County Sheriff’s office and was responsible for organizing a gathering of law enforcement personnel yesterday from VT and NY as well as numerous trucking company representatives. The goal: to increase awareness of the importance of using seat belts when driving.

Al writes, "Six years ago while on the way back from a trip with my wife, I was thinking about coming home to the May Click it or Ticket campaign. I was traveling up I-95 and said to my wife, “What is the one thing we see every trip we take?”  I gave it a minute then said, “Tractor-trailer units, traveling our highways and delivering our goods.”  I thought it would be great to partner with them to get our message out. That year with a lot of hard work, we were able to partner with the Vermont Truck and Bus Association, along with the Bellavance Trucking Company of Barre, Vermont. They were the first to make the commitment to bring this message to motorists.”

From that modest start, the effort has grown to include 22+ trucking companies that now display the “Click it or Ticket” decal on their vehicles throughout New England and this accomplishment was highlighted at the event yesterday.

Paul White, State Highway Officer and Law Enforcement Liaison, opened the event noting that 15,000 lives are saved every year by seat belts. Currently the usage rate for seatbelts is 84-89% in Vermont, which means that over 10% of people are still not wearing belts.

Chief Paul DoucetteBennington Chief of Police Paul Doucette was a featured speaker. Doucette has a long history with highway safety efforts in the state and noted that Bennington’s tri-state location makes partnerships with law enforcement agencies and trucking companies in neighboring states a vital component. “Safety begins with seat belts; it is the easiest and safest choice to prevent an unwanted tragedy” said Doucette. “It’s not just about enforcement, we need to change behavior.” The Click It or Ticket program is helping to do that.

Numerous representatives from trucking companies such as Phil Butler from Peckham Industries, and Eric Bushee and Joseph Maguire from Casella were on hand. Butler noted “Safety is number one. We are like a family and we want everyone to get home safe at the end of the day.”

Next time you are on the highways, take note of how many Click It or Ticket decals you see! And most importantly, don’t forget to wear yours.
Police Officers Receive Mental Health First Aid Training - April, 2022
Police officers receiving training

Bennington Police Department members are receiving Mental Health First Aid Training as part of ongoing efforts to improve policing in our community

All members of the Bennington Police Department will be participating in Mental Health First Aid for Law Enforcement training over the next two days.

Mental Health First Aid training will assist members of the Bennington Police Department with our efforts in dealing with community members in crisis as well as co-workers involved in public safety.

Mental Health First Aid training instructs members of the Bennington Police Department on how to safely use de-escalation techniques with people in mental health or addictions crisis.

Members will also receive training in use of support services and how to guide people in crisis in the direction of support services.
Bennington Police Department Officers and staff often act as first responders for people in mental health and addictions crisis in Bennington. Training is vitally important to ensure department members know how to interact with people in crisis. Being able to recognize signs and symptoms, and being able to effectively communicate with people in crisis, can lead to a better outcome for everyone involved.

Mental Health First Aid training for Law Enforcement will also instruct members of the Bennington Police Department to look out for one another. Bennington Police Officers and Communications staff are more likely to experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Mental Health First Aid will instruct Officers and staff on how to recognize signs of a mental health issue in their peers as well as themselves.
Bennington Police Department Welcomes Three Recruits - January, 2022
637BENNINGTON - The Bennington Police Department and the greater Bennington community welcomed three new officers to their ranks by introducing the recruits fresh out of the Vermont Police Academy's Level 3 officer training on Monday afternoon.

The recruits spoke exclusively with the Banner about various issues facing police officers today, including their training, the changing face of policing in 2022, their hopes for helping the community, and what they can do as new officers to help keep Bennington safe.

All three of the recruits told us that their interest in becoming police officers goes back to childhood.

Ryan Racana, 22, grew up in Rotterdam, N.Y., hoping to be a police officer one day.

"I've wanted to be a police officer ever since my eighth-grade careers day," said Racana. "I chose police officer as my career then, and after studying criminal justice in both high school and college, I applied here in Bennington."

Brandon Rumley, also 22, from Wappinger's Falls, N.Y., has family ties here in Bennington and the Shaftsbury area. He followed a similar path to law enforcement.

"I've loved coming up to Vermont ever since I was a kid," says Rumley. "It's always felt like home to me. Like Ryan, I took criminal justice classes in high school and college. I've been a volunteer firefighter in my hometown for the past six years. I have a history of public service throughout my family. Many family members are firefighters, and I have a cousin in law enforcement. I've always had a passion for this, ever since I can remember."

James Macaulay, 31, the oldest, is from Castleton. Macaulay won the Distinguished Academy Graduate Award for his excellence during training. Macaulay also studied criminal justice in college, but his law enforcement career took a five-year detour into the armed forces. He served two stints in Afghanistan before returning to finish his college degree in criminal justice with a minor in sociology from Castleton University.

Policing has always been a difficult profession, but that's never been more accurate, especially nowadays. Aside from the inherent danger built into the job, there are other factors that police departments and individual police officers face every day on the street. The Banner wanted to know how these new and idealistic recruits see the job they now hold and what they bring that allows them to deal with the pressures in a compassionate and meaningful way to serve the Bennington community.

"I believe there are challenges in every line of work, said Rumley. "I know that change doesn't come easy or by people sitting back and doing nothing. I know that I want to jump in and be a part of the change happening in policing, being more community-oriented. The one thing that drew me was making a positive change in somebody's life, regardless of who it is and what they look like, just trying to make a difference for the better is what drives me."

"I really feel that if people see even one person doing the right thing, that helps them to do the same," said Macaulay. "I never had any issues with becoming a police officer. I moved to Vermont when I was 17. It gave me a second chance and a wonderful place to live. I knew I wanted to give back to the area one day, and the best way I thought to do that was to become a police officer, helping people when they might be having the worst day of their life. I know I can help."

A lot of what police officers do today is not the same as back in the day. Officers are asked to not only be an enforcement presence on the streets, but in many cases officers are asked to also be part social workers as well. How might these new officers deal with the new demands that communities put on them?

"Our level-three training exposed us to mental-health and crisis management training," said Rumley. "It helped us to understand how to hone-in on people in need who might be suffering from mental illness or drug addiction, working with partners like the Department of Children and Families, or PAVE with domestic violence, helping to recognize what I can do to de-escalate these situations and get people on the road to getting the resources to get the help they need."

"We did a lot of scenarios that were mental health-focused," said Racana. "People that are possibly suicidal, delusional, or maybe on some sort of substance, recognizing the signs of that, that this isn't necessarily just an angry person, but that they need help, that makes a difference."

"You need to listen and be patient and courteous to people," Macaulay said, "regardless of how they're treating you. Someone might be having a bad day and might see you as a police officer, take it out on you. You still need to be able to help them."

In keeping with some of the issues that have surfaced recently in the news, they were asked if they might be able to recognize if something was not right during a police interaction, regardless of who that person might be, and have the wherewithal to make it right or report what you see - a wrong - even if it becomes hard to do so?

"The first core value that you learn in the police academy is integrity," said Rumley. "Doing the right thing, even when no one is watching, that's something that can't be taken away. Maintaining that, regardless of the situation, is a moral choice as a human being, regardless of if it's in the public eye or not."

The officers were asked if they are able to serve the whole community, regardless of what someone might look like or how they choose to live their lives?

"I grew up in public schools that were very diverse," said Rumley. "At the academy, we were taught that everyone has some implicit bias, but it's being able to look at everyone from the same objective lens that makes the difference. Everyone deserves to be treated the same way without judgment. At the end of the day, you're there to help someone. It should never matter what they look like or how they align themselves."

All three recruits will participate in a mentoring program and field training for the next six weeks in Bennington and further online academy training before getting permanent assignments on the Bennington Police force. They will also serve a year probation before they are no longer considered rookies.

"I am pleased with the performance of our recruits at the Vermont Police Academy," said Bennington Police Chief Paul Doucette in an email to the Banner. "We welcome them to the Bennington Police Department."

Michael Albans
Compliments of: The Bennington Banner
Bennington Police Department Receives Environmental Leadership Award - October, 2021
The Bennington Police Department and Chief Paul Doucette have earned the 2021 Environmental Leadership award from Climate Advocates Bennington. The Advocates recognize the department’s forward thinking and action to reduce their carbon footprint by purchasing hybrid vehicles and their growing e-bike program.

At a ceremony last month, Climate Advocates coordinator Barbara True-Weber presented the award to Doucette, and recognized others who have made these innovations possible: Lt. Cam Grande, Select Chair Jeannie Jenkins, the Bennington Energy Committee represented by Al Bashevkin and Bruce Lee-Clark, and Donald Campbell, former Select Chair.

The award recognizes work over the last two years to address the global climate crisis through local action. In the fall of 2019 the Bennington Select Board, under the leadership of Donald Campbell, appointed an Energy Committee that is pivotal to Bennington’s Energy Plan. That committee has been working to reduce carbon emissions, global warming, and save money. One of the committee’s goals entailed converting the town’s fleet of cars and trucks from gasoline to electric or hybrid power. When researching other police departments across the country, it was found that hybrid and electric vehicles performed as well or better than traditional policing vehicles. This change also saved money on fuel and repairs.

On Sept. 22, 2021, the BPD put their first hybrid patrol vehicle into service. Doucette reported that gasoline consumption for the hybrid cruiser is far less than what they experience in the existing patrol vehicles. The hybrid patrol vehicles average 23.9 miles per gallon compared to other patrol vehicles that average approximately 14.5 miles per gallon. In addition to the hybrid cars, the BPD purchased two EV bikes for its bike policing. This will further reduce the cost of gasoline, save carbon emissions, and connect police more closely with citizens.

Climate Advocates of Bennington (CAB), presenter of this award, is a node of 350VT dedicated to organizing, educating, and supporting Vermonters to work together to address the climate crisis. Locally they focus on reducing emissions, working for climate justice, and building resilience and community. They can be reached at
New Hybrid Department Vehicles
635-aThe Bennington Police Department recently purchased two new Ford hybrid vehicles.  One of the vehicles will be used by the detective division and the other by the patrol division.  Detective Sergeant Jason Burnham, pictured with the white Ford Fusion, and Lt. Camillo Grande along with Chief Paul Doucette, pictured with the Ford Interceptor SUV, are pleased to present two new Department vehicles.  The Department anticipates a fuel cost savings as well as a reduction in carbon emissions with these vehicles.

911 Memorial Service
BENNINGTON - On Saturday, Sept. 11, the town of Bennington will present a memorial service recognizing the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States.

The service will be held at the 9/11 Memorial near the Superior Courthouse on South Street and will begin at 8:30 a.m.

Local first responders, government officials and community members will honor victims and families, recollecting the tragic events of the 9/11 attacks. The events of that day, and events that followed, are still fresh in the minds of many despite happening 20 years ago. These events changed the world as the United States and allies began a global war on terrorism.

The Bennington Police Department Honor Guard will participate in a flag detail. Members of the Mount Anthony Union High School Choir, under the direction of Lynn Sweet, will perform the National Anthem and “God Bless America.”

Local musician Sue Green will also be present and will perform during the ceremony. Local service club members have been invited and are encouraged to attend.

South Street, the west end of Union Street and Hillside Street will be closed during this event beginning at 8 a.m., and drivers are asked to seek alternate routes.

People attending the ceremony are asked to be at the memorial no later than 8:20 a.m. For planning purposes, it is anticipated that the memorial service will last approximately 30 minutes.

Banner Staff
Compliments of: The Bennington Banner
Doucette Wins VTrans Highway Safety Award
BENNINGTON - Bennington Police Chief Paul Doucette was among those honored with an annual Vermont633 Agency of Transportation Highway Safety Award.

The awards, which are normally announced during a Vermont Highway Safety Alliance fall conference, were presented virtually this week because of the COVID-19 social distancing restriction.

Doucette received one of two Highway Safety Achievement awards, "presented to an officer who has shown a lifetime of exemplary work and passion for highway safety, while demonstrating teamwork and strong support for their fellow officers and community, over the course of their career."

Also receiving that award was Col. William "Jake" Elovirta, who is retired from the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles Enforcement and Safety Division.

The awards were presented during a virtual ceremony by VTrans Secretary Joe Flynn.

Doucette was cited for efforts toward highway safety over his 30 years with the BPD, beginning in 1990, Flynn said. He and another officer began a bicycle patrol program within the department, and the unit has since grown to include six certified bicycle patrol officers.

Doucette also has promoted bicycle safety as a member of the Bennington Police Association by spearheading efforts to provide bike helmets for local children. That effort has provided and fitted thousands of helmets to area children.

In addition, he has been involved in the planning of Bennington's annual bicycle safety rodeo.

Doucette, who was named chief of the BPD in 2009, was also cited as a leader in the Southern Vermont Click It or Ticket task force to promote use of safety belts and in overall efforts to enforce traffic laws.

"Chief Doucette has set a shining example of what a motivated leader can do to promote traffic safety," Flynn said, adding that Doucette "clearly leads from the front" in efforts to ensure traffic safety.

Other awards announced included:
The Fletcher Brush Educational Outreach Award

This award is presented to an individual or organization for outstanding educational outreach in the promotion of highway safety priorities for Vermont citizens. This annual award honors Fletcher "Buster" Brush, who exemplified the notion of "service above self."

It was awarded to Lindsay Townsend, of the Vermont Driver and Traffic Safety Association.

The Ruby Rainault Occupant Protection Award

This award is presented to an individual or organization that has demonstrated commitment to education, enforcement, and community engagement in helping to increase occupant protection use. Late Deputy Sheriff Ruby Rainault was killed in the line of duty in 2003 while on patrol conducting Occupant Protection safety checks. This award is given in her name to a law enforcement officer who best emulates Ruby's willingness to "do what it takes to help."

The award went to Lt. Allen Fortin, of the Chittenden County Sheriff's Department.

The Impaired Driving Prevention and Enforcement Award

This award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated commitment to education, enforcement and community engagement to help decrease the incidence of impaired driving.

It was presented to Steven M. Brown, of the Windham County State's Attorney's Office.

The Drug Recognition Expert Award

This award is presented to an individual member of the DRE Program who has demonstrated a commitment to Education, Enforcement and Community Engagement to help decrease the incidence of Impaired Driving.

The award went to Deputy First Class Michael Roj, of the Windham County Sheriff's Office.

The Rising Star Award

This new award is presented to an officer in the first five years of their career who has shown exemplary work and passion for traffic law enforcement, while demonstrating teamwork and strong support for fellow officers and the community. This year VTrans selected two award winners.

They are Trooper Paul Pennoyer and Sgt. Thomas "TJ" Howard, both of the Vermont State Police.

Bennington Banner
Compliments of: The Bennington Banner
Tenets of the Bennington Police Department - Moving Forward
Ensure that the fundamental principle of the Bennington Police Department is to value and preserve human life.

  • Incorporate this belief into the mission, vision, goals, ethics, and oath of the Bennington Police Department.
  • Healing of the community means healing of all. There needs to be acknowledgement and empathy shown to all regardless of position, race, religion, gender, or socio-economic standing.
  • Bennington Police Department leadership need to continue to emphasize and prioritize equally both the physical safety and mental well-being of officers and staff. This includes having more open conversations about coping with stress and trauma within the Bennington Police Department and informing the public, as well as elected and appointed officials, of the stress and demands on officers and staff.

Establish shared expectations between members of the Bennington Police Department, the community, and elected and appointed officials.

  • Members of the Bennington Police Department and elected and appointed officials must jointly shoulder the responsibility to share expectations and offer solutions. This responsibility includes listening and weighing outcomes of potential decisions and policies. Whenever feasible, policies and practices should be evidence-based and represent the best interest of all involved.
  • Ensure that all voices are welcomed and heard. Members of the Bennington community need to be clear in their expectations for the police department. Bennington Police Department leaders and officers need to be able to speak about potential outcomes to operational changes. If members of the Bennington community want changes to police department operations, the Police Chief should inform the public of potential costs and benefits of that change allowing the community to make informed and appropriate decisions. Elected and appointed officials are responsible for facilitating this process, ensuring thoughtful changes are implemented, and owning the outcome.
  • Acknowledge that past and present inequities in the Bennington community often shape views that drive calls for change. This acknowledgement promotes a greater level of understanding by all, that certain embedded feelings must not be taken lightly or dismissed and will be taken into consideration when developing and receiving recommendations for changes in Bennington Police Department policies and procedures.
  • Develop an objective and clearly established evaluation process for the Bennington Police Department based on shared, understood expectations.
Implement a system-wide approach to policies and procedures so to thoughtfully anticipate benefits and cost for sustainable approaches.

  • Many police agencies throughout the United States have implemented community-focused police approaches and have policies, procedures and practices in place that emphasize the duty of care as well as strict policies and procedures around police tactics to ensure the well-being and safety of the community and officers. Adoption of these approaches must become wide-spread and serve as principles for the Bennington Police Department.
  • However, as communities, elected officials, appointed officials and the Bennington Police Department are developing new and innovative approaches to public safety, the focus should expand beyond just policies and procedures to include both the broader criminal justice and public health ecosystems:
  • Maximize available, thoughtful resources, similar to the process for recommendations from the Commission of Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice. This extensive effort in the United States brought together subject matter experts to study and produce recommendations related to the entire criminal justice system. The Commission specifically looked at how to make systematic improvements and enhance coordination between police, judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and correctional authorities to increase the ability to prevent and control crime, prevent unnecessary incarceration, serve the victims of crime, and improve community-police engagement.
  • Embrace proven, evidence-based programs that incorporate broader public health and social wellness into cohesive approaches to community wellness and public safety in Bennington.

Hold prosecutors and the judiciary accountable for their decision-making/discretion.

  • The decisions and practices of the Bennington County State's Attorney's Office, The Vermont Attorney General's Office and the Vermont Judiciary directly impact public safety, particularly the trust and confidence the community has in the Bennington Police Department. While there are multiple ways to hold offenders accountable, prosecutorial and judicial discretion is an important tenet of the criminal justice system. As a result, there needs to be continued alignment between the Bennington Police Department and the Bennington County State's Attorney's Office to ensure agreement on the enforcement and prosecution of criminal offenses. Bennington Police Officers are the branch of municipal government that enforces the law, but they do not make the laws. If the Bennington County State's Attorney's Office and the Vermont Judiciary are disconnected from the Bennington Police Department, and/or the laws they are enforcing, the public loses faith in the police.
  • Prosecution and punishment should be proportional to the offense alleged and should not vary by race, wealth or status of the defendant.
Recognize that policing involves dynamic, unpredictable, and very dangerous situations.

  • Bennington Police Department leadership should, whenever appropriate, educate the Bennington community on policies and procedures, practices, and incidents to further understanding of policing dynamics, advance transparency, and to enhance Bennington community-police engagement.
  • The Bennington community should expect excellence, while also recognizing that Bennington Police Officers are human. Bennington Police Department leadership and officers must continue to hold each other accountable for wrongful actions, and always remember that officers have a duty to intervene to prevent or stop the use of excessive force by another officer when it is safe and reasonable to do so.
  • Complaints against members of the Bennington Police Department must receive thorough, timely, transparent, and objective investigation to determine the validity of the complaint, root cause of failure and work towards improvement.
  • When addressing problematic behavior by Bennington Police Officers, the Police Chief and Town Manager should have broad discretion in determining consequences and be able to act swiftly.

The Bennington Community and Bennington Police Department leaders must demand, of their elected and appointed leadership, improvements to social shortcomings that deteriorate lives and perpetuate cyclical involvement with the criminal justice system to include poverty, limited education, substance abuse, and mental health. The Bennington Community and elected officials must provide financial resources allowing the Bennington Police Department to accomplish its mission.

Bennington Police officers, as the most visible form of Town of Bennington government, are expected to increasingly deal with the social ills that plague our society but often lack the authority, training, or expertise to proactively address these issues. These collective societal failures for those who suffer from homelessness, drug addition, and mental illness have pushed these problems to the street for members of the Bennington Police Department to deal with.
Good policing contributes to a safer and better community. As the Bennington community, elected and appointed officials develop policies and procedures, leaders at the Bennington Police Department, as public safety experts, should be aware, consulted, and serve as resources to recommend and deliver better policies, procedures and solutions.
Members of the Bennington Police Department are raising cancer awareness
631Members of the Bennington Police Department and the Bennington Police Association will be wearing pink and blue during the months of October and November in an effort to raise cancer awareness throughout the Bennington Community. Members of the Bennington Police Department and Bennington Police Association donated their own money to participate in this awareness campaign. In addition to wearing pink and blue, male members will be allowed to grow facial hair and female members will wear additional pink items showing support.

With support from White Rocks Studio Design, a Bennington Police Department vehicle received cancer awareness graphics. This vehicle will be used during day-to-day operations by members of the patrol division. Please be on the lookout for this vehicle as you travel around Bennington. Our goal is to raise awareness and remind community members about their health and to take preventive steps for the early detection of all types of cancer. This includes mammograms, prostate exams, colonoscopies, physicals, and screenings. We hope community members see a member of the department, police association, or our marked police vehicle and are reminded to call their physician and schedule an appointment.

In addition to raising cancer awareness, members of the Bennington Police Association will be raising funds for cancer treatment and patient support. All proceeds will be donated to the Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center in Bennington. The money donated to the Cancer Center will be used toward the Cancer Center Patient Resource Fund.

A limited-edition Bennington Police Department patch will be available in exchange for a $10.00 donation. Members of the community may purchase a patch at the Police Department or by sending your donation to:

Bennington Police Association Cancer Awareness
118 South Street
Bennington, VT 05201.

In exchange for a $15.00 donation, the Bennington Police Association will also offer a pink Bennington Police Department cancer awareness shirt. Shirts may be ordered until October 13, 2020, and must be pre-paid. Shirt orders must be sent to the Bennington Police Association at the address listed above. Please include shirt sizes and your phone number with your donation.

Working together, we will raise awareness and promote healthy lifestyles.
Helping Vermonters Reduce their Risk of Opioid Overdose
630Bennington Police, in collaboration with United Counseling Service, will be handing out Harm Reduction Packs when Bennington Police Officers respond to an overdose scene. These packs are also available for pick up at United Counseling Service. What is in a Harm Reduction Pack?

Harm Reduction Packs include:

  • 1 dose of Narcan with instructions
  • Treatment and Recovery brochure
  • HIV & Injecting Drugs 101 flyer
  • VT 211 Rack Card
  • Sterile Gloves
  • Sanitizing Wipe
  • Lip Balm
  • Hepatitis C & Injection Drug Use flyer
  • Syringe Services Program information card
  • Fentanyl testing strips
Are you smarter than a third grader?

629BENNINGTON - Bennington Police Chief Paul Doucette tests his skills against the third grade class at Monument Elementary School on Friday morning during a game of "Are you smarter than a third grader?"