Rutland Residents Raise Questions About Police Commission

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(Host)  Rutland City Police Chief Anthony Bossi continues to come under fire following revelations that several officers have been investigated for allegedly viewing pornography while on duty.  

Rutland City Aldermen say they’ve lost confidence in the police chief and have some serious concerns about the governing body that oversees him.  

VPR’s Nina Keck has more. 

(Keck)   David Allaire, president of the Rutland City Board of Aldermen, say Bossi is no longer effective.

(Allaire) "We’re very concerned about the next three and a half years on his contract.  And how that’s going to play out – on himself and the rest of the department."

(Keck)   While the aldermen may want the police chief out – members of the city’s Police Commission – a five member panel of local citizens appointed by the mayor to oversee the police chief – continue to support Bossi.   

At a public meeting, Commission Chairman Bob Ebbinhausen explained why Bossi should keep his job.

(Ebbinghausen) "I know deep down inside when Mr. Bossi says he goes by the book, he goes by the book and I can assure the public of that."

(Keck)  Ebbinhausen says the commission has set up policies to ensure better communication with the chief, city officials and the public.  And he says they’ve set up specific goals they expect Chief Bossi to meet.   

Commission member Mary Nemeth says the current situation is troubling, but she says it’s their job to get past the emotion and make decisions based on what’s best for the city.

(Nemeth) "Our job is to serve this community not as politicians but as members of the commission who look at the facts, understand the facts and act on fact and not on emotion."

(Keck) But Rutland Resident Traci Pena doesn’t buy that.

(Pena) "You say you’re not political but you’re nominated or chosen by the mayor?"    

(Keck)   Pena asked how Nemeth and the other commissioners were chosen.

(Pena) "Are you a friend of the mayor? Are you a neighbor of the mayor? A golfing buddy of the mayor? I mean what are your guys backgrounds?   Do you have a legal background? A police background? What gives you the authority as five people to make decisions as to what’s best for people like me?"  

(Keck) Members of the Rutland City Board of Aldermen say they too have concerns about the commission and say the panel may need an overhaul.

For VPR news, I’m Nina Keck in Rutland.  

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