VSP holds open house

The weather was a breezy and a little threatening but it didnt seem to bother the folks who showed up, at the Vermont State Police headquarters in New Haven for a open house held last Saturday, which included Vermont Gov. James Douglas and states First Lady Dorothy Douglas.

The open house was one of a series of such events being held by the state police state wide to celebrate their sixtieth anniversary.

The earliest Vermont State Police unit was formed in 1947 and consisted of 55 uniformed officers and seven civilian employees. This group was commanded by retired marine and medal of honor winner Maj. Gen. Merritt A. Edson. That first group of officers had a difficult work schedule.

The first headquarters was built established in Montpelier on Feb. 9, 1948, and a three way radio system was put in place in September of that year making coordination of man power much simpler. From then until the present the organization has grown and changed to keep up with the times and demands of modern society. The City Vergennes also played a key role in the early formation of the VSP.

In an effort to keep in touch with the public they serve, and to celebrate their accomplishments the Vermont State Police are holding open houses throughout the year at each of their headquarters, and last week was New Havens turn. Area residents who stopped by toured the barracks as well as the many displays outside. There were officers on hand at each display to answer questions. There were other local agencies represented, too.

Other law enforcement agencies on hand included Vermont Fish and Wildlife Wardens (withe an office at the New Haven station), the Addison County Sheriff's Department, Middlebury and Bristol police forces, the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles, and the U.S. National Forest law enforcement team. The local sheriffs arrived with a cruiser and motorcycle, while Middlebury brought the county's mobile command post, a cruiser, and K-9 (dog) "Blade". Bristol's Chief Kevin Gibbs conducted child safety-seat inspections.

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