Beer-Handling by Vermont Police Officers Sparks Internal Investigation

Two officers have been assigned to administrative duties while the Burlington Police Dept. looks into whether they mishandled beer confiscated from teens

Confiscated beer left two Vermont police officers the subjects of an internal affairs investigation, the Burlington Police Department announced Tuesday.

The chief of police in Burlington said two of his officers took beer away from minors last month, issuing them civil tickets for underage alcohol possession.

Now those officers are under investigation for possibly drinking some of the beer off-duty, and privately disposing of the rest of it, department leadership said.

Department policy would be to have officers document the beer and dispose of it—not drink it, Chief Brandon del Pozo wrote in a news release.

Del Pozo said other officers reported the alleged activity up the chain of command, and department leadership immediately launched an investigation, briefed the city’s police commission, and consulted with attorneys and other city leaders.

“Officers who do not process seized property in accordance with procedure are subject to serious discipline,” del Pozo wrote in the news release.

The officers have been reassigned to administrative duty for the remainder of the investigation, and the department said appropriate discipline will be determined shortly.

The officers were not identified in the announcement of the internal affairs probe.

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