Colchester Police Department was formed in 1967 with the hiring of its first officer. Prior to the existence of the police department, the community was served by the Vermont State Police
Chief Ronald Smith was hired as chief, and served in that capacity until the appointment of his successor in 1979, our current Chief of Police, Charles Kirker. The department grew slowly through the years. The actual budget for the first 6 months of operation in 1967 was $21,082.74 (Proposed Budget of $20,000.00. During the first six months of operation, the department covered 20,000 miles in patrol, and responded to 1,408 call for service. Of that, there were 41 motor vehicle accidents, 22 of which involved only one vehicle, and only fourteen resulted in injury. Of the 41 operators involved, 36 were from the greater Burlington area. 46 cases were presented to court for prosecution in the first six months, with sixteen of them being for speeding. The second most common case was minors in possession of alcohol, of which there were 7.
When the second officer was hired, each officer covered eight hours of the day, leaving between 2:00 AM and 8:00 AM without an officer on duty. If an officer was needed, he was called at home to take the complaint. Each officer worked a 56 hour week, including one 16 hours day, to allow the other officer to have a day off.
For fiscal year 1970, the department budget was up to $61,607.00. In the 1971 town report, Chief Smith commented that "while we have come along way in only four years, our present situation can only be compared to playing baseball with only three men on a team. Few people remember that we must provide this service, to the entire town, around the clock, seven days a week and must, therefore, have much more manpower than would be required for a regular work week." The department had grown to a chief, four patrolman, a detective, and a secretary-dispatcher. It was also in this year, thanks to a federal grant, that the department was able to equip each of their cars with a radio to be able to speak with other police officers. As a comparison, there were 249 motor vehicle accidents this fiscal year.
By 1975, the department had grown to ten officers. Criminal complaints were on the rise, which led to Chief Smith requesting additional officers. By 1977, he had hired an additional five officers, and the 1977-78 budget was approved at $178,780.
In 1978, the police department moved to its current location on Blakely Road. Prior to this, it had been located at the "Bean Building" located on Rte 7 near Rte 2A. Prior to that it was located on Main Street in the village.
In 1979, Chief Kirker took over the reigns of the department. Chief Kirker was hired in 1970, and worked as a patrol officer, Juvenile Officer, Detective, and Sergeant before taking the chief's position.
In 1981, the Colchester Police Department handled approximately 9000 incidents, up just slightly from 1980. There was in increase in motor vehicle violations, and a decrease in motor vehicle accidents, and crime overall. The crime rate in Colchester remained well below the national average.
In 1985, the department continued to see a decrease in reported crime. The department completed a badly needed upgrade of cruiser radios, replacing those over 15 years old. The department also started a winter patrol with 2 newly acquired snowmobiles. These allowed access to a large number of seasonal camps that were isolated in the winter.
In 1990, the department began participation in the DARE program. Two officers were sent to training in Virginia that certified them to teach the program. The department began to computerize records and reports during this time period, and continued with the Harbor Mater Program, started the previous year.
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