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Bias-Based Policing in Vermont

22 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2011 Last revised: 30 Jun 2011

Brian R. Jones

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: June 20, 2011


Police officers conduct investigations and law enforcement with significant discretion. Accordingly, this allows officers to utilize unique policing styles. While most officers exercise utmost professionalism, some officers allow bias to influence their investigative and enforcement actions. Vermont has taken steps to address this issue, which continues to dominate conversations about the scope of proper police authority. Briefings before the Vermont Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights culminated in the release of findings and recommendations in its report, “Racial Profiling in Vermont.” This Article examines components of those recommendations. In particular, the Article provides analysis of traffic stop data reporting, its methodology, and dissemination. It also evaluates law enforcement officer training related to discriminatory police practices. Additionally, the Article addresses the broad misuse of the term “racial profiling” and the struggle to appropriately define this issue, which has implications far beyond Vermont. This work advances a vital discussion about law enforcement credibility, public trust and confidence, and the critical need to protect civil rights.

Keywords: bias-based policing, racial profiling, police, law enforcement, discrimination, civil rights, traffic stop data reporting, police training

Suggested Citation

Jones, Brian R., Bias-Based Policing in Vermont (June 20, 2011). Vermont Law Review, Vol. 35, p. 925, 2011 . Available at SSRN:

Brian R. Jones (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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