Investigations Track

Animal Cruelty Investigation – Level III  

Coordinator: TJ Anderson
Length of course: 7 hours
Course hours: 0830-1630
Location: Forget-Me-Not Farm, Tinmouth, VT*
Date:  September 24, 2014

Tuition: $17.00 (lunch provided)

Registration: Fax the in-service registration form (Word or PDF) to 802-483-2343 or email it to our registrar at
To attend this class: You must have attended a Level I and Level II Animal Cruelty Investigation course presented by the Vermont Humane Federation’s Animal Cruelty Response Coalition.   Level I is being offered September 2, 2014 and Level II is being offered September 5, 2014.

This hands-on workshop will build on the information presented during the Level I and Level II workshops, by having participants use the skills and techniques they learned in the classroom in a real-life setting. Forget-me-Not Farm will serve as the host for a mock “crime scene” involving large animals. Participants will have the opportunity to:
  • Practice their interview techniques, report-writing and evidence gathering skills in a group setting;
  • Become more comfortable with handling equines by approaching and leading live animals;
  • Use body scoring techniques in order to assist in determining animal health.
Participants must bring with them their Animal Cruelty Investigation manual.  
Please Note: Persons who currently own the "Animal Cruelty Investigation Manual”, 1st or 2nd or 3rd edition, and are interested in purchasing the newly released 4th edition of this manual... please indicate so when registering.  Manual cost is $20.00.
*Directions to Forget-Me-Not Farm, 12 McNamara Road, Tinmouth, VT:
From the North:  Route 7 South to Wallingford VT. Take route 140 West (right turn) at the traffic light and follow 140 about 8 miles.  Turn left on McNamara Road.  Farm is first right [yellow house] up the hill.
From the South:  Route 7 North to Wallingford, VT.  Take route 140 West (left turn) at the traffic light.  Follow 140 about 8 miles. Turn left on McNamara Road. Farm is first right [yellow house] up the hill.
Dr. Janet Carini, DVM, Owner, Rutland Veterinary Clinic at Castleton
Melody Squier, Owner and Operator, Forget Me Not Farm
Milicia Lynds, Deputy Sheriff, Rutland County Sheriff’s Office
Joanne Bourbeau, Northeastern Regional Director, Humane Society of the United States

Farm Animal Cruelty Investigation – Level IV   

Coordinator: TJ Anderson
Length of course: 6.5 hours
Course hours: 0830-1600
Location: Shelburne Farms (see below**)
Date:  September 30, 2014

Tuition: $25.00 (Includes lunch). Checks should be made out to the Vermont Humane Federation (VHF) and sent in advance to: Vermont Police Academy, 317 Academy Road, Pittsford, VT  05763.

Registration: Contact Gail Williams at (802) 483-6227.
To attend this class: Space is limited, registrations preference will be given to humane agents and law enforcement officers. 
You must have attended a prior workshop on investigating animal cruelty in Vermont, sponsored by the Vermont Humane Federation’s Animal Cruelty Response Coalition.   Attendance of the Vermont Police Academy’s “Animal Cruelty Investigation – Level I” (being offered September 2, 2014) meets this requirement.
This introductory and hands-on workshop will focus on some of the most common farm animals you might see during the course of an animal cruelty investigation. There will be a classroom session in the morning. Topics to be covered will include:
  • The proper handling and housing of common farm animals;
  • Best management practices;
  • Body condition scoring (BCS), and
  • Locomotion of farm animals.
The afternoon session will give participants an opportunity to apply the skills and techniques learned in the classroom session. We will get up close and personal with cows, chickens, swine, and sheep.
Be prepared to spend the afternoon outside in any type of weather.  Boots are recommended for the afternoon workshops.
**Training is being held at the Shelburne Farms’ “Coach Barn” (1611 Harbor Road, Shelburne, VT (802) 985-8686).  At the gate house of Shelburne Farms, tell the attendant that you are attending this training.  Parking is behind the Farm Barn.
Staff of Shelburne Farms
Staff of Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets

Coordinator:  TJ Anderson
Length of course:   7.5 hours
Course hours:  0830 – 1630 hours
Location:  Vermont Police Academy
  • September 30, 2014
  • December 16, 2014
Tuition:   $29.00
Registration: Fax the in-service registration form (Word or PDF) to 802-483-2343 or email it to our registrar at

Physical evidence is not subjective.  It does not lie, forget, or distort.

Thorough crime scene investigation is vitally important to effective law enforcement.  The purpose of this course of instruction is to provide police officers with instruction on the awareness, documentation, preservation and collection of physical evidence and basic crime scene processing procedures.

The course will cover information outlined in the Physical Evidence Handbook published by the Vermont Forensic Laboratory, as well as, other information obtained from training aids and hands on practical exercises.
By the end of the class, each officer will have to demonstrate that they can perform a number of skills, to include, dust for and lift developed latent prints, swab for biological collection purposes, make a cast of a tool/tool mark impression, and make a tire and/or foot wear impression using dental stone.
NOTE: This is a “hands-on” training.  Students should wear appropriate clothing that they do not mind possibly getting dirty.  Students will also be going outside and thus should prepare to dress accordingly.

Coordinator: Sara Couture
Length of course: 16 hours
Course hours: 0800 - 1630
Date: November 24-25, 2014
Location: VSP Barracks-Williston

Tuition: $15.00, includes materials.  Lunch is on your own.

Registration: Fax the in-service registration form (Word or PDF) to 802-483-2343 or email it to our registrar at

This fundamental training course will provide the new part-time officer with a familiarization of accident/crash reporting requirements and form completion. A mock scene will be utilized to demonstrate the measurement and diagramming techniques. Additional scene management will emphasize traffic control, preservation of evidence and witness identification.

Death Investigation

Coordinator: Cindy Taylor-Patch
Length of course: 40 hours
Course hours: 0800 - 1630 hours
Dates: November 3 – 7, 2014
Location: Vermont Fire Academy
Tuition: $48 for commuters (includes lunch), $190 for attendees staying overnight (includes lodging and all meals)
PLEASE NOTE: Due to the nature of the subject material the class contains graphic content.  This course is limited to sworn law enforcement officers ONLY who have been designated by their agency to conduct death investigations.
Registration: Fax the in-service registration form (Word or PDF) to 802-483-2343 or email it to our registrar at

“Few things in our democracy are as important as ensuring that citizens have confidence in their institutions in a crisis.  For many individuals the death of a loved one is just such a crisis.  Ensuring that the proper steps and procedures are taken at the scene of that death to reassure family members that the death was a natural one, a suicide, or a homicide is a key element in maintaining citizen confidence in local officials.”              
                                                                    - Jeanne M. Adkins
                                                                      Death Investigation: A Guide for the Scene Investigator
                                                                      U.S. Department of Justice.
This 40-hour course is designed to provide basic information for officers who are new to, or who want to learn more about, death investigation.

Topics in this course of instruction include:
  • The manner, mechanism and cause of deaths
  •  A review of various types of deaths
  • Autopsy and role of, and interfacing, with the Medical Examiner’s Office
  • Bloodstain Evidence
  • Fire related deaths and haz-mat concerns
  • Missing person’s investigations
  • Child and infant Deaths
  • Major crime investigation and evidence
  • Computer forensic analysis and death investigations
  • Case reviews
  • And much more.
Instructors for this course included members of the Office of the Vermont Chief Medical Examiner as well as Vermont State Detectives, members of the Vermont State Police Crime Scene Search Team and Vermont Fish and Wildlife Wardens.

Eyewitness Identification Best Practices

Coordinator:  Sara Couture
Length of Course: 4 hours
Course hours: 1200 – 1600 hours
Location: Vermont Police Academy
  • July 7, 2014   - Canceled                         
  • October 1, 2014              
  • December 17, 2014  
Fair and Impartial Policing is offered in the morning on the same dates.  It must be registered for separately.

Tuition: $14.00 (lunch not included) 
Registration: Fax the in-service registration form (Word or PDF) to 802-483-2343 or email it to our registrar at

NOTE:  If you have registered for Fair and Impartial Policing in the morning, lunch will be provided for an additional fee of $8.00.
Scientists and psychologists have long believed that the ability of eyewitnesses to recognize offenders was overstated.  In recent years, due to the advent of DNA technology, nearly 300 prisoners have been exonerated for crimes they did not commit.  Over 75% had been convicted, at least in part, based on mistaken identifications by witnesses.  While the police in most of these cases did nothing wrong, it is clear that improved training and the adoption of modern procedures can decrease the likelihood of wrongful convictions while at the same time making officers better investigators.
The Eyewitness Identification course being offered at the Vermont Police Academy will provide officers with science-based information about memory and the variables that affect eyewitness recall.  Modern procedures recommended by the U.S. Department of Justice and experts in the field will be explained and demonstrated.  Officers who attend the course will leave with an enhanced understanding of eyewitness memory and a working knowledge of the latest in police procedure.

Fingerprinting Certification

Coordinator: Sara Couture
Length of course: 4 hours     
Course hours: see below
Location: Vermont Police Academy
  • October 28, 2014: 0800-1130 hours
  • November 25th, 2014 0800-1200 hours - Post Basic

VIN Verification is offered in the afternoon on the same dates and must be registered for separately.

Tuition: None, if initial certification. Repeat/audit - $9.50.
Registration: Fax the in-service registration form (Word or PDF) to 802-483-2343 or email it to our registrar at
Fingerprints offer an infallible means of personal identification.  They are used for identification of a person, background checks for employment, documenting criminal records, creating investigative leads, and tying suspects to evidence or crime scenes.

This course is designed to train police officers to properly roll legible fingerprints.  It also provides police officers with the necessary certification to obtain fingerprints from minors as required by statute.  This certification is valid for three years.  See Fingerprint Re-certification for recert processes.

This course has been designed by Vermont Criminal Information Center Identification Section and includes:
An overview of basic fingerprinting classification, the procedure of taking prints, officer safety while printing, how to properly fill out required fingerprint cards, and the life of a fingerprint card.

All students will practice rolling fingerprints under the supervision of trainers.

Rolling a quality set of fingerprint impressions and the successful completion of a written exam are required for certification.

Fingerprinting Re-certification

Length of course: 1 hour
Course hours: By appointment scheduled each hour on the hour from 0800 to 1600 hrs.
Date: By appointment.
Location: Hartford Police Department (Other regional trainings will be posted on the VCJTC web site as scheduled.)
Tuition: none

Registration: Fax the in-service registration form (Word or PDF) to 802-483-2343 or email it to our registrar at


Officers are required by State statute to be re-certified every 3 years to take prints of minors. This course meets this requirement. VCIC has eliminated the mailing in of fingerprint cards for re-certification and are requiring officers to roll fingerprints in the presence of their certifying official. VCIC will also conduct familiarization with the AFIS system at this training. Certification cards will be issued upon successful completion of classifiable prints.

Length of course: 5 days
Course hours: 0830-1630
Location:  Vermont Police Academy
  • September 22 – 26, 2014
Tuition: Commuting: $85; Overnight: $167
Registration: Fax the in-service registration form (Word or PDF) to 802-483-2343 or email it to our registrar at
Pre-requisites: This course is designed for, and taught to full-time certified police professionals who have AT LEAST three years of full-time uniformed patrol experience.
The Pro-Active Criminal Enforcement (P.A.C.E.) Course consists of classroom instruction and practical application of motor vehicle enforcement techniques. These techniques will greatly enhance the officers’ ability to observe, identify, articulate and intercept criminal activity within their specific patrol areas.
Highlights of the topics included in this course include, but are not limited to:
  1. Interviewing techniques
  2. Review of applicable Vermont state and federal case law
  3. Overview to the Drug Recognition Expert program
  4. Enforcement methods – professionalism during the stop, officer safety, pat downs, consent to search, exit orders, MVR use.
  5. Non verbal communication clues – detecting deception, officer safety concerns & criminal activity
  6. Post interdiction & asset seizure – documentation, court room testimony, seizure and evidence processing
  7. Criminal Trends
  8. Terrorism trends
  9. Contraband concealment methods
  10. Drug/Drug paraphernalia identification
  11. Profiling – why this practice is unacceptable
  12. Supervisory concerns

Search & Rescue

Coordinator: Cindy Taylor-Patch
Length of course: 3 hours
Course hours: 1300 - 1600
Date: on October 01,2014
Location: Vermont Police Academy
Tuition: FREE
This course meets the requirements of 20 V.S.A. 2365(a) for all part-time officers who attended Phase I after the law was enacted (May 23, 2013) and out-of-state waiver officers. Click here to view the statute.
Registration: Fax the in-service registration form (Word or PDF) to 802-483-2343 or email it to our registrar at

Course Description:
It is not uncommon for law enforcement officers in Vermont to become involved in search and rescue operations.  Vermont statutes require a base level of training for all newly certified officers. This session, taught by VT Search and Rescue Coordinator Neil VanDyke, will inform you of your obligations under the law, explain what specialized resources are available in the state, and give you a base level of training on how to effectively initiate a search for a person missing or lost in the Vermont backcountry.  K9 Trainer Bob Ryan will review what the Vermont Police canine teams are trained to do and how they can be best used.

The Problem of Dog-Related Incidents/Encounters and Investigating Combat Animal Fighting

Coordinator: TJ Anderson
Length of course: 6 hours
Course hours: 0900 - 1530
Date: October 3, 2014
Location: Vermont Police Academy
Tuition: $19.50 (Includes materials and lunch)

Registration: Fax the in-service registration form (Word or PDF) to 802-483-2343 or email it to our registrar at

Course Description:

Topic One: The Problem of Dog-Related Incidents and Encounters

There are approximately 77.5 million owned dogs in the United States so it’s inevitable that there will be encounters between police officers and dogs. With the number of dog fatalities by law enforcement on the rise, police departments need to develop effective strategies for handling dog-related incidents to ensure public and officer safety.

The goal of this presentation is to educate police officers on interpreting dog behavior, evaluating the likelihood of an attack and diffusing potentially volatile encounters. We’ll cover the range of non-lethal alternatives that officers may have at their disposal and, finally, we’ll discuss how to minimize injury in the event that an officer is attacked by a dog.

The instructor is Dr. Pamela Reid, vice president of the ASPCA's Anti-Cruelty Behavior Team.

Topic Two: Combat Animal Fighting in Your Community

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals (ASPCA) will also be providing expert training in how to conduct successful investigations of illegal animal fighting. 

This course will cover:

  • The secret subculture of animal fighting
  • Case histories and investigative techniques
  • Dog fighting… in the words of a Dog Fighter
  • What the ASPCA can do to assist you

The instructor is Terry Mills is a 32 year veteran of Missouri State Highway Patrol. He joined the ASPCA in October 2010 to lead the new Blood Sports division of the Team. The division is dedicated to providing training to law enforcement and investigating blood sports, such as dog fighting and cockfighting, across the country.


VIN Verification

Coordinator: Sara Couture
Length of course: 4 hours
Course hours: see below
  • October 28, 2014: 1200-1600 hours
  • November 25, 2014: 1230-1630 hours - Post Basic
Fingerprint Certification is offered in the morning on the same dates and must be registered for separately.
Location: Vermont Police Academy

Tuition: None, if initial certification. Repeat/audit - $16.00
Registration: Fax the in-service registration form (Word or PDF) to 802-483-2343 or email it to our registrar at

It has been said that the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is the motor vehicle’s equivalent to the human’s DNA.  The VIN’s 17 characters provide vehicle specifications such as where it was manufactured, in what year, the make, model, and body type.  American motor vehicle manufacturers have been using VINs on their cars since 1954, but it was not required on all vehicles by NHTSA until the manufacturing of the 1981 model year.

Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles (VT DMV) Inspectors instruct the VIN Verification Course.  Participants who successfully complete this course will be certified by the VT DMV to verify VINs as required by the Agency of Transportation on certain documents.
The skills and knowledge developed in this class will also enhance an officer’s ability to detect stolen vehicles, cloned vehicles and vehicles with altered VINs.

Successful completion of a written examination at the conclusion of the course is required for certification.