Proposed revisions to Fair and Impartial Policing Policy undermine public safety

BRATTLEBORO — Keeping our communities safe is a matter of trust and open communication. Our local police chief, Mike Fitzgerald, has stated that the Brattleboro Police work to make sure victims and witnesses of crimes feel safe in coming to them. This helps all of us live in a safer community.

Because of recent executive orders on immigration, all over the country witnesses and victims of crimes are afraid to come forward if they are undocumented.

Imagine that you were the victim of a crime and the only person who could testify on your behalf was afraid of local police turning them over to federal immigration officers and would not participate.

This is more likely to happen in Vermont if the proposed revision of the Fair and Impartial Policing Policy (FIPP) isn't improved before the vote on Tuesday, Dec. 12.

The Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council is making changes that would allow law enforcement to report witnesses as well as victims of crimes to federal immigration authorities.

If crimes are not reported, the community becomes less safe for everyone. We need our Brattleboro Police Department, Windham County Sheriff's Department, and Vermont State Police to focus on building trust and safety in our communities, not working with federal immigration to deport our undocumented friends and neighbors who are the witnesses or victims of crimes.

The vote by the Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council will be held at the Pittsford Fire Academy on Dec. 12. Please join concerned citizens there at 9 a.m. Carpools will also be meeting at the Putney park-and-ride near the new fire station at 7 a.m.

Subscribe to the newsletter for weekly updates