Vermont State Police History
 The Vermont State Police Shoulder Patch
Vermont State Police Shoulder Patch
Great Seal of the State of Vermont
Vermont State Coat of Arms

The Vermont State Police shoulder Patch is a modification of the Great Seal of Vermont and the State's Coat of Arms originally designed by Ira Allen of the Green Mountain Boys' fame.

The mountain peaks are Camel's Hump and Mount Mansfield as viewed from a point opposite Burlington.

It is believed that Samuel de Champlain, the "Discoverer" of Vermont, first saw the area from that vantage point.

The view also serves as a constant reminder of the beauty of the Green Mountains.

The tall pine tree represents one presumably visible from the windows of the home of our first head of state, Governor Thomas Chittenden.

The wooded hills stand out sharply as they do in actuality on a bright October day.

Beneath the hills are sheaves of grain and a grazing cow depicting Vermont's agricultural and dairying industries. And above it all is a deer's head attesting to the State's abundant wild-life.

The Vermont State Police Shoulder Patch was adopted in 1947 by Major General Merritt A. Edson, the first Commissioner.

1947 Ford Cruiser - 85 hp Flathead V-8

The Vermont State Police History
Vermont was one of the last states in the Union to create a state law enforcement agency. Prior to the organization of the Vermont State Police, the law enforcement system of Vermont relied almost entirely on the fourteen county sheriff's depart- ments and the twelve local police departments found in the larger cities and towns of the state.

The first form of state law enforcement in the United States was the Texas Rangers, established in 1835. It was not until 1935-one hundred years after this first "state police" force was established- that the Vermont Legislature of 1935 soundly defeated a proposal that would have created a Department of Public Safety, though it did order that a two-year study on the matter be undertaken.

The two-year study undertaken by a three-man committee of the 1935 Legislature was presented to the Legislature of 1937. This report not only revealed the deficiencies of the law enforcement system that existed in Vermont at that time, but gave a strong support to the creation of a Department of Public Safety.

The Legislature of 1937 overwhelmingly defeated a bill that would have created this much needed organization.

The idea for the creation of a state police force remained dormant for ten years, until the members of the Legislature were preparing for their annual trip to Montpelier, in 1947.

In December, 1946, a Bennington college co-ed disappeared while hiking the Long Trail. After a month of investigating and searching no trace of her could be found. The father of the girl who disappeared perhaps pinpointed the problem in a public statement... "The difficulty however, is that there is no organized police system within the State..." No trace of the girl, no sign of a body, clothing, or any other evidence was ever found.

The Public's reaction to the ineffectiveness of the county centered system of rural law enforcement was shown when the proposal to create a Depart- ment of Public Safety was introduced in the 1947 Legislature, and overwhelmingly passed.

The Department of Public Safety ws created July 1, 1947. It began with twenty-seven highway patrolmen who transferred from the Motor Vehicle Department and thirty probationary troopers.

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