Vermont’s famously hard-to-access public records might become a little more transparent soon - at least those having to do with police discipline. But oh, those pesky unions!
“Donovan is not alone. State Secretary of Public Safety Michael Schirling said Tuesday he is on the same page as Donovan on making disciplinary records public. And Schirling reported that there's growing interest in the law enforcement community in taking that step, from police chiefs and sheriffs to the state Criminal Justice Training Council and community members. "We are open to that conversation, and to trying to find a path forward," Schirling said. "It would require balance between transparency and privacy interests for employees under labor laws and collective bargaining. That said, there is much more broad interest in exploring this now than there ever has been in the past." State Sen. Richard Sears, D-Bennington, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he felt the change would address the need for transparency, and avoid re-hiring of officers who had previously misused force. But he echoed concerns about stepping on collectively bargained contracts governing what can and can't be released."
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