NPD applies for and receives a grant to replace Police cruiser cameras. Also the latest update for COVID-19 is available here.

And they did it at no cost to the Town

NPD continues to actively seek out various grant opportunities to help defray or eliminate the cost of equipment and they seek to be good stewards of the money the town entrusts to them.

See story below, for a nice description of the department and the purpose of this no cost grant.

Norwich Police department applied for and received a $ 30,000.00 grant to replace/augment the age-old police cruiser cameras. (See story below).

Light up America: The Norwich Police Department joined the national effort as part of “# VT Lights the Way” to illuminate homes and public buildings on the evening of 1/19/2021 in memory of those who have died in the pandemic.

Norwich VT Police Department

9 hrs · 

The Norwich Police Department is pleased to announce that it applied for and was successfully awarded $30,000 through a grant to replace and augment with BWC’s, the aging in-car cruiser cameras.

The Norwich Police Department is a community-oriented police agency dedicated to serving and protecting the 3,500 residents of the town of Norwich, and those who chose to work, play, and rent in the 45 square mile community. Nestled deep in the Upper Valley, Norwich abuts the state line, sharing a border with Hanover, NH; providing police and educational services to commuters and residents across both states as part of the first interstate school district. The community is home to traditional residents, retirees, college and graduate students, and is a commuter town for the region. These unique demographic blends create a rich multifaceted community that bring a valuable blend of experiences, belief systems, cultures, and perspectives to the region.

The Norwich Police Department, responsible for protecting this distinguished community, is comprised of four full-time officers, three part-time officers, two crossing guards and one administrative assistant. As a department, we provide 24-7 coverage 365 days a year, using a combination of on-duty and on-call staffing. Officers are called upon to respond to a myriad of tasks ranging from animal control issues and motor-vehicle enforcement concerns, to assaults, burglaries, domestic violence issues, and illicit substance abuse.

The Norwich Police Department (NPD) continues to be one of the most professional and highly trained agencies in the region. With a strong commitment to community policing, we protect and serve with respect and dignity, and recognize the importance of working together with our active and informed citizenry. We value forthrightness and transparency, and make a concerted effort to put such at the forefront in all of our duties in order to strengthen our bonds and relationships within the community.

In 2016, the White House released the 21st Century Policing report, authored by President Obama’s Policing Task Force, which recommended several best practices that all police departments in the United States should strive to adopt. These recommendations were organized around six pillars, the first three of which included: Building Trust and Legitimacy, Policy and Oversight, and Technology and Social Media. Supporting these pillars were recommendations and measurable action items designed to initiate behavioral change, providing clear direction to law enforcement agencies on how best to build trust with the public at large.

Pillars: Trust and Legitimacy between the police department and the community we serve is imperative. As guardians of the public, we recognize this mandate and the impact that positive relationships and communication can have in establishing and enhancing legitimacy. Oftentimes, in an effort to protect the privacy of those we interact with, and due to the nature of the highly specialized career of law enforcement, the public must rely on conjecture, the media, or sensationalized television shows to try and grasp the nature of the career field, or the reason behind why a police officer interacted, and or responded in the manner that they did. As many of the interactions law enforcement have with members of the public are conducted during times where those involved are experiencing a range of highly charged emotions, it can be difficult to recall the incident with perfect clarity absent the clouded past experiences or feelings that one may bring to bear on the moment. Furthermore, the lengthy adjudication process of the judicial system can inhibit public access to information about incidents that police are called to respond to, as some cases are not heard for more than a year after the initial incident occurred, exacerbating questions about encounters between law enforcement and members of the public.

In the 1800’s Sir Robert Peel, the father of modern policing, stated, that “the ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police existence, actions, behavior and the ability of the police to secure and maintain public respect.” 200 years later, this principle continues to ring true. Law enforcements ability to effectively meet the expectations of protecting and serving the community is dependent on the public’s recognition of officer’s legitimacy and credibility. Recently, that credibility has come under increased public scrutiny. This scrutiny, coupled with recent civil disturbances in response to officers use of force in response to resistance incidents, underscores the importance of transparency and highlights the challenges in maintaining the public’s perceptions of law enforcement legitimacy, particularly as it concerns the use of force. While this is not a single solution issue, in-car and body worn cameras provide documentary evidence of officer-community interactions that can serve to support accounts of those on scene, serving as one way to answer the call from the public for improved transparency and increased officer accountability. These cameras can also serve to shed light on citizen complaints of officer behavior, and corroborate or remediate inconsistent or divergent accounts of an incident, and provide objective, accurate, incontrovertible documentation of police and citizen interaction.

The State of Vermont is not immune to the national call for increased transparency of officer and citizen interactions. The Governor recently passed S219 which includes a requirement that all department police officers be equipped with body cameras, a mandate which is anticipated to be broadened to include all municipal police officers. The language of the newly signed law includes a provision which reads as follows: Sec. 7. 20 V.S.A. § 1818 “EQUIPMENT OF OFFICERS WITH VIDEO RECORDING DEVICES The Department shall ensure that every Department law enforcement officer who exercises law enforcement powers is equipped with a body camera or other video recording device on his or her person.” The Norwich Police Department currently utilizes in car camera systems that were purchased and installed in 2013. These cameras are antiquated, unreliable and incompatible with the software and technology of body cameras. Furthermore, the limited perspective of interior vehicle mounted cameras fails to properly document and display the officer’s field of vision, and contain no redaction software capabilities.

In a time of fiscally constrained budgets, the Norwich Police Department, which currently operates on an austerity budget with little to no discretionary funding, is unable to provide the monetary resources necessary to meet the fiscal demands necessitated by this technological shift. As such, we reached out for assistance through grant application and are pleased to announce the successful award of that grant. The grant was a no cost grant (ie: no 50/50 requirement) to replace capital assets that would have otherwise been expended out of the police budget. NPD continues to actively seek out various grant opportunities to help defray or eliminate the cost of equipment as we seek to be good stewards of the money the town entrusts to our agency.

Chief Jennifer Frank, Norwich, VT Police Department
10 Hazen Street / P.O. Box 311, Norwich, VT 05055
(802)649-1460 (Office), (802)649-1775 (Fax)
Jennifer.Frank@Vermont.gov

Here is the latest COVID-19 update for your review

23. COVID-19 Update (01/19/2021)
From: "Frank, Jennifer" <Jennifer.Frank@vermont.gov>
Date: Tue, 19 Jan 2021 23:30:24 +0000

1. Vermont continues to plan its COVID-19 vaccination efforts around a limited and unpredictable supply of vaccine from the federal government.  Currently, health care workers and long-term care facility residents can receive the vaccine.

2.  Beginning 01/25/2021, Vermonters who are 75yoa and older will be able to make an appointment to be vaccinated.  Those eligible for the vaccine will expand by age grouping, and then, after the age groups, by certain high-risk medical conditions.  If Vermont continues to receive weekly allocations of 8,800 vaccine doses from the federal government, it will take about 6 weeks to vaccinate the 49,000 Vermonters aged 75 or over. The State plans on vaccinating all those aged 65 or over by early April. Those unable to reach vaccination clinics will be vaccinated by local EMS and home health agencies.

3.  Current COVID-19 Activity in Vermont (01/19/2021):
New cases: 102 (10,321 total)
Currently hospitalized: 40
Hospitalized in ICU: 5
Hospitalized under investigation: 3
Percent Positive (7-day average): 2.6%
Deaths: 163

4.  For the week ending 1/15, the number of COVID­19 hospitalized patients remained high, generally steady at about 40 people hospitalized each day. Of those hospitalized, 8­10 were in ICU beds each day. New cases remained significantly higher all week, with two days approaching or exceeding 200 cases per day.  Deaths continue to be between 0 and 4 per day, as has been the case for the last month. Hospital resources remain adequate though margins for ICU and medical/surgical beds are tighter than they have been since the Spring.

5.  The agency of Education began planning for a full return to school in April and for summertime activities.  2,195 school staff participated in COVID­19 surveillance testing this week (40% of those eligible).

Chief Jennifer Frank, Norwich, VT Police Department
10 Hazen Street / P.O. Box 311, Norwich, VT 05055
(802)649-1460 (Office), (802)649-1775 (Fax)
Jennifer.Frank@Vermont.gov