City Manager Statement re 7/16 Meeting
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FROM THE OFFICE OF THE CITY MANAGER OF VERGENNES VERMONT
July 17, 2020
The July 16, 2020 Vergennes Special Call meeting was a demonstration of how the City of Vergennes takes complaints against its police department incredibly seriously. In light of recent events and the heightened spotlight on law enforcement throughout the nation, the city administration in conjunction with the police department presented the City Council and the public with a new accessible method of filing complaints that enables the city to collect vital information to address and properly take remedial action towards the complaint.
The July 16, 2020 meeting was called because Mayor Jeff Fritz used text messaging to file generalized complaints to the City Manager of people feeling intimidated and demoralized by the police department. Because no specifics of the allegation were divulged and the proper method for filing the complaint was not utilized, a special meeting of the Vergennes City Council was called. Subsequently, the text message complaint was made public in the meeting, which showed a breakdown in communication and resulted in the resignation of the Mayor.
This was an unfortunate event. However, this event illustrates how serious and quickly the city acts on serious complaints, such as police intimidation. As the City of Vergennes moves forward, the public can rest assured that the city will take swift action in the face of any serious allegation.