The Chittenden Unit for Special Investigations (CUSI) is a multi-department task force charged with investigating sexual related crimes against adults and children, as well as cases of serious child abuse and neglect and child deaths. It was formed in 1992 after discussions between town managers, police administrators and prosecutors in Chittenden County on how to best consolidate investigative resources. Colchester Police Department was one of the initial founders, along with Burlington, Essex, South Burlington and the Vermont State Police, each committing a full-time investigator and a vehicle. Other communities in Chittenden County support the task force through other financial means. The Town of Colchester continues to support CUSI’s mission with an assigned detective.
Since its inception, CUSI has proved to be a successful model that has been replicated across the state. Investigators received specialized training in interviewing traumatized victims and work closely with prosecutors, victim’s advocates, and social workers for the best possible outcomes. This collaborative approach has resulted in successful prosecutions for those responsible for such crimes and a start for victims and their families to heal. The use of coordinated police services to perform police duties on a county or statewide basis is sometimes necessary to preserve and protect the health, safety and welfare of the public.