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Myers Mermel: Lack of proper crime data reporting undermining law enforcement in Vermont

This commentary is by Myers Mermel, of Manchester. He is a Republican candidate for U.S Senate.

Like many people, I am very concerned about rising crime in Vermont. I have been speaking to some of the most senior law enforcement officers across our state, who have answered my questions as they would answer the questions of any citizen. I haven’t gotten special treatment, but I have promised them that I will not reveal their identities as they do not want to be involved with politics. What I have discovered and confirmed has shocked me. Some may well be aware of the problem, but for others, let me outline it for you. I will start with my conclusion and then provide you with the assumptions. I think a reasonable person would be hard pressed not to agree with me.

The conclusion is that a lack of crime data reporting by the Department of Justice, whatever the motive, is undermining the efforts of Vermont law enforcement to increase public safety.

Currently, parts of the crime reporting system used by Vermont are controlled by the federal government through its Department of Justice. How did our state-wide crime reporting come to be controlled by the federal government? I do not know at this point, but its effects are very clear and negative.

What is happening is that the Vermont Crime Information Center compiles and reports law enforcement incidents from across the state to the Department of Justice through the FBI. That’s good. The Department of Justice is then supposed to compile, analyze, and report the data back to Vermont. The problem is that the Department of Justice has not published its analyses, summaries or reports since 2020.

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