Assault Rifles in WPD Tool Box

Woodstock Early Bird has learned that the Woodstock Police Department has added a new weapon to their law enforcement tool box: Assault “Patrol” Rifles, or AR-15’s, will now be carried locked up in some WPD cruiser trunks.

Police Chief Robbie Blish briefly acknowledged the added weapons to Woodstock Village Trustees last night describing a recent situation in Hanover in which Hanover PD might have been assisted by having these weapons on hand.

Later, Blish was asked to provide an explanation, in his own words, the reasoning for having these semi-automatic weapons at the disposal of Woodstock patrolmen and patrolwomen:

“The unfortunate reality is that VT is not immune to more violent crime and dealing with a more violent criminal. If an officer were to be confronted with an assault weapon or other type of rifle for that matter, they should have the capability to respond in kind. It’s hoped that we won’t ever need to use them, but I believe it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. They are really an added level of protection for not only the officer but the community.”

Blish also announced to Village Trustees that WPD will be taking part in a new inter-agency program to assist timely coordination in Windsor County of adult and child sexual assault cases. According to Blish, the program is being coordinated, in part, by the Windsor County State’s Attorney’s Office and The Child Advocacy Center at The Family Place. Here is a description provided by our Police Chief:

“The goal is to foster a cooperative approach by personnel from various disciplines who are responsible for recognizing, reporting and responding to allegations of child sexual abuse and/or assault(s). As part of this response, guidelines have been developed to ensure victim and family services/referrals are made and that effective investigations are being conducted to support the prosecution’s pursuit of successful outcomes in proceedings concerning the alleged perpetrators who may initiate the abuse and/or assault(s).

Furthermore, The agencies and individuals involved strive to foster collaboration, minimize the number of times that children are interviewed, and to provide swift, sensitive multi-disciplinary intervention and services to child victims and their families. This initiative is based on the philosophy that no attempt to prevent and treat sexual abuse is likely to be successful unless it involves a cooperative effort on the part of all involved agencies and individuals.”

Woodstock Early Bird will have more on the reasons for and mechanics of this program in a future post.

10 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by charlet davenport on October 11, 2012 at 06:28

    What are the details of the Hanover incident which influenced our Woodstock police to decide they needed to have this weapon ? Could we have a clear description of how this weapon is used and what sort of incident might make this a crucial weapon?

    WEB Reply: Chief Blish said that upon entering the home AK-47’s were found there and had they been used on police they would not have been able to protect themselves…

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  2. Posted by Russell Pejouhy on October 11, 2012 at 07:45

    Woodstock Village Police Department joins the Arms Race.

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  3. What’s next SWAT armored personnel carriers? “Officials quoted the incident in Derby VT where several police cars were crushed by a citizen in a tractor. 3 inches of armor plate added to our patrol vehicles will ensure this never happens in the VIllage of Woodstock, and that surveillance of the 25 mph speed limit can be virtually guaranteed”.

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    • Posted by Dean Fullerton on October 14, 2012 at 13:33

      Lets ask the Middlebury Police officers who had to go into the woods to confront and apprehend a determined man who barricaded himself in a position with boulders and trees waiting to ambush the officers with multiple firearms mainly rifles. Not hardly a situation I would want ot be faced with using only my pistol. Of course it would never happen in Woodstock…..same thoughts as those citizens in Middlebury.

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  4. Posted by Donna on October 11, 2012 at 11:31

    What have we come to that the Town of Woodstock is now carrying assault rifles in their trunks? I don’t know about anyone else, but this scares the hell out of me.

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  5. Posted by tom on October 11, 2012 at 16:48

    We can afford new cruisers, new uniforms and expensive assault rifles but we can’t afford to keep the street lights on?!!

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  6. Posted by Lance Webster on October 11, 2012 at 20:09

    I’m not a Woodstock resident and i don’t know your new chief but if he says he needs assault rifles get him assault rifles trust him to do his job! and lets hope they never use them

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  7. Posted by charlet davenport on October 12, 2012 at 07:46

    I am not being critical ,I am uniformed. I am asking for more information. I understand that police need to protect themselves from danger. It is clearly important for their lives and also so that they can protect the community. However, I am still not clear on the incident in Hanover which led to the purchase of the assault weapons for Woodstock. I am not being critical so much as asking for more information. If police in our village see a need for these weapons perhaps we are not being informed fully about the conditions which led to this decision. Do the state police have these weapons in their vehicles? Did the Hanover police department purchase the same weapons? Do other Vermont village police departments carry these weapons in their vehicles?

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  8. Posted by Molly on October 12, 2012 at 16:11

    Sounds like WPD is buying into the “fear” mode before all the facts are in. Assault
    rifles are no small thing to add to their arsenal.

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  9. Posted by Dean Fullerton on October 14, 2012 at 13:44

    It is understandable to have the “Oh my gosh” reaction when hearing the term assault rifle. Especially with all the videos showing how they are used in a military combat situation. This is not usually the case in policing. The rifles are semi automatic, and the “spray and pray” affect is not the case either. There are many situations in which they can be used and usually in a very controlled and planned setting, with well trained officers.

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