The Vermont Police Academy campus, recently named the Robert H. Wood Jr. Criminal Justice and Fire Service Training Center of Vermont, consists of one main building (main/center section and two attached cottages) and several outbuildings. The Main Building was built in 1907 on land purchased by the Proctors (owners of the Vermont Marble Company). Mr. Redfield Proctor was instrumental in purchasing the land and in building the facility, originally housing a hospital for treating tuberculosis patients; the cottages served as patients' living quarters.
The Vermont Sanatorium, as the hospital was called, was deeded to the State of Vermont in 1921. By 1967 advances in the field of medicine lead to a significant decline in the number of TB patients requiring treatment and the cost of operating the Sanatorium could no longer be justified. The facility was then made available to any branch of state government for use. The State Police had been searching for suitable facilities for their training programs. Also in 1967, the Vermont Legislature created the "Law Enforcement Training Council," to oversee police training standards and it needed a home as well. It was then decided the facility would be inspected for use as a training academy.
The first Basic Training Course for Police Officers was conducted in 1968.
By the Executive Order of Governor Deane C. Davis, dated May 11, 1971, the facility was transferred from the Health Department, Vermont Sanatorium, to the care, control and management of the Commissioner of Public Safety as a training facility for State Police officers and for other law enforcement officers trained under the authority of the Law Enforcement Training Council. The Training Council, at that time, was under the direction of the Commissioner of Public Safety. The Training Council and the Department of Public Safety moved into the current Vermont Police Academy in March of 1971.
In 1974, the Training Council's name changed from "Law Enforcement Training Council to "Criminal Justice Training Council" and control of it was given back to the Vermont Attorney General.
With the passage of Act 57 of the General Legislative Session, as of July 1, 1979, the Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council became autonomous as an agency and was assigned the responsibility of operating the Academy as a training facility for all police professionals in the State of Vermont. Other agencies, subject to the Council Director's approval, are welcome to utilize the facility -- time, schedule, and conditions permitting.
Today, the center section of the main building houses the Police Academy, the West Cottage is the home of the State Police - Office of Professional Development/Training Division and the East Cottage contains the Fire Service Training Center.
Over the years, the Full-time Basic Training curriculum has grown from a 3-week course to the present 16-week program. The Part-time Officer Training Academy has grown from a 58-hour course to a 168-hour program. As laws and technology change, so has the need to increase the amount of training required in both programs.