PAJ Issue 3 NA


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I t's moments into the 5 p.m. fall-in that you start to realise that things have perhaps changed in Burlington, Vermont, once regarded as a safe, picturesque college town located about an hour's drive from the Canadian border. And while this city of 43,000 remains as scenic and popular with tourists as ever, it has undergone a staggering change, and that recent change has come as a result of one lethal culprit: heroin. Heroin seems to be associated with just about every incident that Sgt. Paul Glynn is describing as he stands in the roll-call room inside the Burlington Police Department headquarters and delivers a steady stream of complaints, disturbances and other problems that have been reported to police in the past 24 hours. The eight officers under his charge for the evening shift on this humid July evening quietly take notes as Glynn speaks while clicking on a laptop that is linked to an overhead projector. A German Shepherd named André is lying on the floor in the corner of the room, chewing on a red rubber kong while his K9 officer is busy reading his notes. Glynn has handed out a sheet that details a particular disturbing incident. His officers look at the sheet and see the photo of a greasy haired individual with empty eyes staring back. The veteran officer's voice has a matter-of-fact tone to it as he addresses his troops about this particular suspect, as if nothing he sees surprises or shocks him anymore. "One of our dispatchers took a call today from (this individual's) ex-wife," says Glynn. "She stated that her ex-husband had made some threatening comments on Facebook yesterday and today about his wish to kill and die. One statement was that he wanted to be arrested so he could kill. He also advised people not to get within six feet of him or they would be knifed. He also made a statement about suicide by cop. This guy also posted on his Facebook page: "How long will a murderer wait to exercise his power?" The guy's ex said that he does not have firearms that she is aware of, but that he keeps knives on his person and has a cane that conceals a knife. She stated that he was also shopping for more knives. He was walking his dog earlier today on Church Street naked. He said later on Facebook how he was disappointed there was no negative reaction from police." "Apparently he was very disappointed that his wishes did not come true," says Glynn as scattered laughter can be heard in the room. Glynn adds that while police searched for the suspect, he was nowhere to be found, but "keep an eye out for this guy in case he's out there." "That's about it," says Glynn, as he dismisses his troops. "Don't get hurt and don't break anything." And with that, the Police Advocates Journal joined the men and women of the Burlington Police Department for an exclusive 48-hour patrol that 19 w w w . p o l i c e a d v o c a t e s j o u r n a l . c o m THE VERMONT HEROIN EPIDEMIC On the beat with the men and women of the Burlington Police Department BY FREDERIC SERRE The BPD is waging an all-out street- level war against heroin trafficking in Burlington. PHOTO: Stéphane Brunet

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