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Bristol police look to replace Josh Otey

BRISTOL — The Bristol Police Department is looking for new officers to join its force.
Officer Josh Otey, who had served the department since December 2011, departed March 23 in order to take a job up north, with the Essex police.
In 2016 the Vermont American Legion named Otey its Vermont Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.
At the time of his departure, he had been assigned as Bristol’s investigator with the Addison County Unit for Special Investigations and was last month re-elected as first constable of Lincoln. He was also an investigator for the Vermont Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, or ICAC. He will continue to serve both Lincoln and the ICAC in his new position, he said.
Bristol’s was a great department to work in, Otey said, but the Essex department, being larger, will offer him more opportunities.
The BPD is hoping to do more than just find a replacement for Otey, however.
“We’re looking both to fill Josh’s full-time position and also to get some part-time officers, in order to develop a pool to ensure that we can fill all of our shifts,” Bristol Police Chief Bruce Nason said. “Some of our part-time officers also have full-time jobs, so we’re not always able to fill all shifts.”
Otey’s duties with the Addison County Unit for Special Investigations will be handled by outside agencies until the BPD can get an officer some software-related and other training, Nason added.
Preference will be given to Vermont-certified police officers with a Level IIE or III certification or equivalent.
According to the Vermont Police Academy a three-phase process is required to obtain a Level I or II certification (formerly Part-Time Basic Training):
•A minimum of 80 hours of academy training.
•50 hours of additional coursework.
•60 hours of field training and evaluation.
To obtain Level III (formerly Full-Time Basic Training) certification, individuals must attend a comprehensive 16-week residential Basic Training Academy.
Applications have begun trickling in, Nason said — some from experienced officers and some from people who would have to complete police academy training to become eligible to work for the BPD.
At the moment BPD officers are working overtime in Otey’s absence, but Nason doesn’t expect it will take too long to find the right people to join the force.
“Bristol is an amazing community to work for,” he said. “And anyone who joins the force will find that it’s a great place to live.”
Reach Christopher Ross at [email protected].

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