Vermont State Police Log for Dec. 16

ADDISON COUNTY — Vermont State Police made an arrest after being called to a Ferson Road home in Leicester on Dec. 11 shortly before 6 p.m. to investigate a report of a violation of an abuse-prevention order.

Troopers said they discovered that Donald E. Durkee, 74, of Leicester drove to the residence with the intention of causing suffering to a vulnerable adult. Police also allege that by being at the home Durkee was violating an active abuse-prevention order. Troopers said they also discovered that he had prevented someone from calling emergency services.

Durkee was taken to the New Haven state police barracks and cited for three counts — violation of an abuse prevention order, abuse of a vulnerable adult, and interfering with access to emergency services. He was then jailed at the Marble Valley Regional Correctional Facility with bail set at $5,000.

Separately, a trooper issued a driving-under-the-influence citation after noticing a motor vehicle violation on Route 30 in Cornwall at around 6:45 p.m. on Dec. 13 and pulling the car over.

The trooper spoke with the driver, identified as Jennifer E. Call, 44, of Whitehall, N,Y., and noted signs of impairment. Call was screened for driving under the influence of drugs and then arrested and taken to the Middlebury Police Department, where she was processed and cited for DUI, drugs.

Troopers were assisted on scene by Middlebury police.

Meanwhile, the Vermont State Police have launched an intensive recruiting effort for the month of December as it seeks to fill multiple upcoming classes at the Vermont Police Academy, bring new troopers on board to fill vacancies, and expand the ranks of the state’s largest law-enforcement agency.

“We want people to know: We’re hiring,” said Col. Matthew T. Birmingham, director of the Vermont State Police. “We have a reputation nationwide and across Vermont for professionalism, exacting standards and a modern, innovative approach to policing. There is no better time for people who are considering a career in law enforcement, or who are already working as police officers, to apply to join the Vermont State Police.”

As with law-enforcement agencies across the country, VSP is experiencing a staffing shortage. The state police have an authorized strength of about 330 sworn personnel across 10 barracks and its Waterbury headquarters. In addition to normal attrition and retirements, the state police saw applications dip considerably over the past two years.

State police commanders emphasize that there is no shortage in shift coverage, with each shift fully staffed through regular duty assignments and overtime. But adding new troopers remains a key priority for the Vermont State Police, to ensure the agency is well-staffed into the future.

Staff Operations Commander Capt. Teresa Randall noted that VSP is open to people from all backgrounds. She noted, for example, that earlier this year the state police became the first state police agency in the country to sign on to the 30 x 30 Pledge — a commitment to have women make up at least 30 percent of police recruit classes by 2030.

“A desire to make a difference is more important than a specific degree or previous law-enforcement experience,” Capt. Randall said. “There is no cookie-cutter trooper. No trooper is alike here.”

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