Currently the Sheriff of Windham County, Vermont, I am an experienced and engaging leader. With over eighteen years of experience, it is my desire to continue to serve the people of Windham County as Sheriff. I would like to simplify access to emergency services in Windham County, provide 24/7 policing throughout the county, and utilize modern technology to improve our services.
Having heard of several communities struggles, we developed a Regional Animal Control Officer program in which a trained civilian ACO has been able to support numerous towns through animal issues. There are currently seven member towns, with desire by several other towns to engage the services of this program. It is the desire to expand the offerings of this program to all towns in Windham County.
The Windham County Sheriff's Advisory was created to bring community perspectives to the forefront as they intersect with the services provided by the Sheriff's Office. The Advisory is made up of ten community members who help me navigate complex issues as seen from the lens of the community. You can learn more about the advisory on the department's website.
Following a shortage in vehicle supply in 2020, I took advantage of the opportunity to pilot an all-electric vehicle in Vermont law enforcement. Through this initiative, we've learned many lessons of how Vermont law enforcement can benefit from all-electric vehicles including operations, lower overall costs, and new ways to look at problems.
You can learn more about the department's efforts here.
I've worked as a mentor supporting numerous law enforcement agencies unifying on a single, statewide law enforcement records management & computer aided dispatch system. Most recently, I've been supporting the Vermont Department of Public Safety and numerous municipal agencies as they work to transition into the system.
I've supported partners around the state to help craft the statewide policies for how force is used by all law enforcement agencies. As one of the leading agencies to deploy body worn cameras in Vermont, we also worked to support the work on the development of the statewide body worn camera policy. Both of these policies work to ensure people in Vermont are treated equally, and within the values and standards we demand of peace officers.
I've worked with the Consortium on Substance Use to engage a Police Liaison with the Department of Public Safety, the Dover Police Department, the Wilmington Police Department and the Sheriff's Office. Through this effort, we have the ability to engage trained, qualified mental health experts from HCRS to intervene in situations that intersect with law enforcement or would otherwise fall to law enforcement.
In my past positions, I have worked pro-actively to develop relationships spanning cultural divides to establish an example of proper, fair, professional policing. Policing is inherently a people profession which requires a belief that everyone will get a "fair shake." A common mantra that I follow is, "You never know what someone is going through." This is true to all walks of life, whether death in a family, prior instances of unfair treatment, addiction, mental health, or simply harsh times.
Developing community trust was one of the key components of my work as a school resource officer. Through these relationships, we were able to provide services to at-risk and marginalized families too embarrassed or excluded by "the system" to offer help and need in a community care-taking role. We were able to bring justice and safety to children of abuse and neglect. Community care-taking is one of the most effective mechanisms of community policing.
The opioid epidemic is a complex and interconnected issue that weaves through the criminal justice, medical, mental health, and social fabrics of our community. As the Sheriff, I have developed organizational relationships with stakeholders to continue the efforts already underway. I've worked to educate the community to help reduce the stigma surrounding treatment.
I implemented a system that brings real-time reporting of overdoses to police, fire and EMS, so that resources could be directed to the most affected areas. Under my leadership, the Sheriff's Office continues to support the National Drug Take Back Initiative to reduce crimes motivated by addiction and reduce unwanted or unneeded medications in homes. I've advocated for greater availability of Narcan/reversal agents to schools, first responders, and community centers.
There is a chicken/egg problem regarding crime as it pertains to the substance use epidemic which warrants Legislative guidance. We cannot arrest our way out of the the problem, but the resulting effects of addiction weigh heavily on our society that introduce violence, greed, and harm to our community.
The Sheriff's Office is best poised to deliver regionalized policing and emergency dispatching services in Windham County. The expenses of operating a police department or emergency communications center often exceeds the means of the small towns and villages of Windham County. The administrative expenses duplicated across each agency in the county creates a needless expenditure of resources where proper planning could bring better, more efficient levels of services.
The Sheriff's Office currently maintains a regional dispatch center that could grow to satisfy local needs and create jobs in Windham County. I believe when a person has an emergency, whether it require emergency medicine, fire, or law enforcement, a caller shouldn't be ping-ponged between numerous dispatch centers.
Restorative justice is a tool in which we can effectively rebuild the harm caused by one (or many) individuals to its victims in a way that fosters good acts over bad. Through my career, I worked with Restorative Justice programs to engage youth, families and adults in a process that wasn't about seeking justice by retaliation. Rather, it sought justice with a look forward, acknowledging what harm occurred from both perspectives, and seeking a solution that allows for peace in the future.
Crime is a societal phenomenon subject to fields of study of many scholars and professionals. For centuries it has been a phenomenon that is managed, not solved. The US has historically used incarceration as a crime management tool. We've long held we have "good people" and "bad people," though all can tell a story of when they "didn't follow the rules." Restorative justice is a mechanism, where appropriately applied, seeks a mixed proactive/reactive approach, in lieu of a traditional reactionary approach.
Law enforcement has seen a vast shift in our role in school and organizational safety. This has created the ability to have deputies trained not only as instructors in safety and resiliency protocols sought by educational institutions, but also engage in safety analysis of facilities to make schools safe, while ensuring it remains a school and community center. We've engaged with non-profit organizations, faith groups, and schools to develop plans, share information, network, and create a general presence that incorporates a core principal of the Sheriff's Office: the community are the police, and the police are the community.
Appointed by Republican Governor Phil Scott, I took lead of rural agency responsible for prisoner transports, service of civil process, rural policing, and more.
Responsible for all day-to-day operations of the Windham County Sheriff’s Office, including the planning, directing and managing of all operational activities conducted by the agency. This includes contract development, financial management and planning, recruiting, retention, training and the general management of the agency.
I was assigned to the Brattleboro Union High School as the School Resource Officer (SRO) with the purpose of developing positive interpersonal relationships with students and staff; aiding with cases having to do with truancy, neglect, and/or abuse of children; supporting the safety and administrative staff of the school regarding delinquent acts and infrastructure/population safety. Our program focused broke down numerous silos to achieve a long-term goal: enable students to access their education. Research shows the higher education a person has, the less likely they are to commit a crime.
I assisted with the school's options based ALICE resiliency training. I integrated into classroom lessons to give a legal and life perspectives regarding a variety of educational topics. I helped at-risk students access to social services and victim services. I worked with the State's Attorney, the school's Restorative Justice Program, E-Reparative Program, and Youth Services' Diversion program to ensure reasonable solutions to juvenile misconduct was prioritized over traditional criminal justice approaches.
I served as the Executive Officer, responsible for financial functions including contracting, procurement, billing and payroll processes. I maintained responsibilities regarding patrol, transport and dispatching operations.
I served as the Division Chief of the Vernon Division, which was established following the closure of the Vernon (VT) Police Department in 2014. I was responsible for establishing a 24-hour primary police service to the Town of Vernon, which included supervision of staff, communicating with the Town government, providing police services and creating the infrastructure necessary for regular operations.
I served as the Department Training Officer, responsible for departmental law enforcement training, management and field training. I managed and supervise grants held by the Sheriff's Office. I was appointed the Field Training Supervisor, responsible for three field training officers (FTO) and the Office's Field Training and Evaluation Program. I established an electronic time reporting system which created a reduction in paperwork and additional oversight of payroll processing. I developed an Awards and Decorations Program to recognize and reward employees who provided and performed superior services to the Office and the citizens of Windham County. I was responsible for the technological and operational expansion of a single agency 24-hour dispatch to a multi-agency dispatch, capable of supporting police dispatch services statewide. I served as the agency Program Manager of the Valcour Records Management System and aided in the deployment and policy development of that system for the department.
Served as a patrol supervisor responsible for crime prevention and law enforcement, staffing, scheduling and supervision of deputies. I performed functions commensurate with the roles of a deputy sheriff, including the transportation of criminal offenders, in-custody juveniles and mental health patients for the State of Vermont. I was responsible for grant management and supervision for all grants, including state and federal grants. I served as the custodian of evidence for all evidence in relation to criminal investigations conducted by the Windham County Sheriff’s Office, including evidence from homicides, sexual assaults, robberies, frauds and drug investigations.
I was assigned as an investigator to the Southeastern Unit for Special Investigations. I investigated allegations of sexual assaults and severe child abuse, leading to the arrest, prosecution and adjudication of offenders. I assisted the Windham County State’s Attorney’s Office with case reviews and prepared various aspects of cases for trials and hearings. I primarily investigated sexual assault cases, child-victim homicides and physical assault cases.
I was responsible for general patrol, crime prevention and law enforcement. I provided transportation of criminal offenders, in-custody juveniles, and mental health patients for the State of Vermont. I instructed a high school junior/senior level law enforcement class. I was selected as member of the Southern Vermont DUI Task Force based on my aggressive DUI investigatory abilities.
I serve as a load crew chief, supervising and working on and around explosives, to include arming and de-arming weapons systems. I performed maintenance on electronic and mechanical systems responsible for offensive and defensive weapons systems of the A-10 and F-15 aircraft, including release and suspension equipment. I've completed the Craftsman supervisory career field training through the Air Education University.
In my off time, I enjoy engineering web applications, physical fitness, skiing, golfing, and riding my motorcycle.
When forced indoors, I spend my free time tinkering with technology, reading, and enjoying virtual reality flight simulation. I enjoy working with wood with the kind support and mentorship of the folks at HatchSpace.
My most recent book recommendations are: