Remote meeting follies continued at the Board of Aldermen this week.

All told, it wasn’t too bad — I think Monday’s meeting marked the fewest times Board President Matt Whitcomb has had to ask everyone to mute their microphones and the fewest times I was unable to make out what was being said.

This week did, however, supply the most amusing failure to mute so far.

I cannot say with a professional certainty who was muttering mild expletives as the argument over where to refer the parking meter discussion dragged on, but I do feel comfortable describing the voice as having a tone of frustration to it.

Right Tools for the Job

Militarization of policing has been one of the hot subtopics in discussions of police reform and racial justice.

Here in Rutland, I haven’t seen too many police officers trying to dress up like combat soldiers. However, a couple years ago when I took my daughter to Vermont ComicCon in Barre, I was surprised by the amount of tactical gear worn by the two Barre officers patrolling the Barre Civic Center. These two officers were so weighed down that until I got a look at their uniform patches, I honestly thought they were cosplayers for some video game I didn’t recognize.

Do the police really, I wondered, need to dress up like they’re attacking Abbottabad to keep a bunch of comic book geeks in line?

Whatever is going on in Barre, Rutland has avoided this phenomenon, and Police Chief Brian Kilcullen said he has made deliberate choices in order to do so.

“We’re absolutely aware of the message our presence and appearance gives to the public, and we try to accomplish our mission with the community in mind,” he said. “Once we identify a need — just in terms of uniforms — we like to provide the best equipment for our officers with that in mind, appearance.”

I asked Kilcullen if he’d had to shut down officers looking to put “Punisher” skull logos on their cars — something that has happened to significant controversy in other departments — and he asked me what a Punisher logo was. So I’m guessing that hasn’t come up here, yet, either.

Calendar

The Police Commission will meet at 6 p.m. Monday.

Tuesday, the Community and Economic Development Committee will meet at 5:30 p.m. to discuss potential modifications to Center Street.

Wednesday, the Planning Commission will meet at 5:30 p.m. to discuss zoning, the city master plan and the draft sign ordinance. The Human Resources Committee also meets at 5:30 p.m. to discuss “nonunion policies.”

gordon.dritschilo

@rutlandherald.com

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City Reporter

Gordon has been a reporter for the Rutland Herald for nearly 20 years. A Castleton State College graduate, he's covered beats from the West county to the city, cops and courts and everything in between.

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