Burlington Police Commission seeks funding to train civilians to provide oversight

Local News

The Burlington Police Commission heard from the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement on Tuesday.

The organization specializes in training towns and cities that are shifting toward transparency and community driven policing. The association’s training director, Cameron McEllhiney, says they’ve seen a high demand as police reform has become a hot topic this past year.

“Since June of last year, we have talked with 130 new cities, towns and counties looking to establish community oversight,” she said. “No two civilian oversight entities are exactly the same because every community has its own nuances.”

The commission passed a motion to ask the mayor for $5,500 to complete training with NACOLE. Acting chief Jon Murad spent his update raising concern over a recent increase in gun violence, both nationwide and locally. The chief pointed to an incident earlier this month on WalnutSstreet that happened just after 2 am. He said timing was tricky. The result could have been different, because less officers would be on the clock just minutes later, due to recent cuts.

“Had it occurred an hour later, we would not have been able to apprehend that suspect,” Murad said. “I believe we still would have saved that woman’s life, but we would not have apprehended the suspect that night.”

The police commission also passed a motion around use of force reporting data, it would require the incidents to be listed by areas of the queen city, not wards.

The next police commission meeting is April 27th. A motion to change officers’ uniform policy to allow beards is one item on the agenda.

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