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A Note From The Chief 2001

The members of the Winooski Police Department would like to welcome aboard City Manager Gerry Myers. Gerry jumped in with both feet, starting his first week with the budget process and employee contract negotiations. After a lot of work, and some give and take, the department’s budget for the 2002 was set and a strong employee relationship was well under way.

Unfortunately, this year took its toll on all of the department recourses, both financial and human. The year started with two bank robberies at the Merchants Bank, the unfortunate death of a young women at the railroad crossing, known as the Blue Bridge, a hostage taking at NFI and of course the brutal death of a young women. All of the members of the department distinguished themselves during these trying times, performing above and beyond the call of duty.

All of these incidents had positive outcomes. A suspect is in custody for the homicide, the person responsible for the bank robberies is in Federal Custody and the women hostage taker is getting the help she needs. Without the hard work of Sgt. Benoit, Detective Lawrence and the members of the Vermont State Police Criminal Investigation Unit, these cases may not have resolved themselves as quickly. I would like to thank Lt. Bombardier of the Vermont State Police and his team for all of their help.

Mary Beth Boe joins Officer Jim Fuller as a School Resource Officer at the Winooski Educational Center. Officer Miranowicz returned to regular uniform patrol duties at the end of the school year. Mary Beth is a resident of Winooski and had three years of experience

The department received additional funds from Governors Highway Safety Program to continue our DUI enforcement activity. Officers dedicated about 8 hours per week to DUI reduction and general highway safety enforcement.

The City of Winooski received a grant from the Department of Corrections to expand the Community Justice Center. Janelle Gilbert-Fuller is the Program Manager under the supervision of the Police Chief.

The Winooski Community Justice Center began accepting referrals from Vermont District Court and the Winooski Police Department in May 2000. Reparative Boards were formed and trained, using interested Winooski Citizens to act as Board Members. Our first Reparative Board cases were heard in June 2000.

The two Reparative Boards, each meeting monthly, facilitated thirty-two cases. In all cases reparative agreements were formed at the initial meeting with each offender. In assessing offender’s completion of the Reparative Agreements from 6/2000 through 6/2001 I found that twenty-seven cases completed as agreed. Eighteen of these cases had been referred by District Court through probation as a part of an offender Probation Order. Police Officers referred fourteen cases, and, as all fourteen were completed satisfactorily they did not advance through the court process, lightening the court caseload and more immediately satisfying those affected by crime.

Offenders participating in the Winooski Community Justice Center Reparative Board Process completed a total of two hundred eighty-three hours of community service within the City of Winooski. Most of this work was completed at Non profit organizations. Three businesses also benefited from community service as offenders sought to directly repair the harm done by their actions. In the cases referred by Police Officers we were able to facilitate payment of restitution to individuals harmed in the total amount of $846.64.

The Winooski Reparative Board works within a 90-day time frame from referral to completion in each case. It is thought that the shorter length of time an affected business or individual has to wait for reparation and restitution lessens the burden put on them by the offender’s actions.

Current Winooski Board Members:

Jeff Turner Patty Niquette Roger Morse
Wendy Scully Pat Cournoyer Jim Adams
Bill Cross    

In closing, I would like to thank the members of the Winooski Police Department for their dedication and hard work and as always, look forward to another productive year.

(Steve McQueen, Chief of Police)


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