State News

Govs. Shumlin and Cuomo urge vigilance as manhunt continues for upstate N.Y. escapees; intensifies in Vermont

Update: Vermont State Police Escapee Response Update
June 12, 2015

The Vermont State Police continue to reach out to residents in communities along Lake Champlain, including going door-to-door with flyers, using saturation patrols, and alerting them of the on-going situation with the Dannemora, New York prison escapees.  Troopers continue this outreach and Lake Champlain patrols in our heightened effort to protect Vermonters lives and property.

Vermont State Police Field Force Commander Major Walt Goodell said, “While we currently have no information to suggest that the escapees are in Vermont, we continue to ask all Vermonters to remain vigilant in reporting any suspicious behavior via 911.”

Anyone who sees anything unusual is encouraged to call 911 immediately, including break-ins at seasonal camps or nighttime lights in unexpected places.  Vermont State Troopers have followed up on 28 tips that have come through 911, all ending in false sightings or events unconnected to the escapee situation.  Again, we’d like to reiterate:  At this time, there is no evidence or information that the 2 escapees are in Vermont or ever came to Vermont.


As part of the response to the recent Dannemora prison escape and the ensuing investigation, the Vermont State Police have implemented the following steps to aid in the search and apprehension of the escaped individuals.  These steps come as a result of investigative information gathered by New York State detectives that indicate the two COULD have intended to travel to Vermont.  We want to remind the public however that there has been NO SIGHTING of the pair in Vermont, and the Vermont State Police and all Vermont Law Enforcement will be vigilant in apprehending the subjects BEFORE they enter Vermont.  The Vermont State Police are monitoring travel routes entering the state, and have been doing so since the escape was discovered early Saturday morning.

Below is a list of the steps Vermont State Police will implement in response to this situation:

*   A Vermont State Police (VSP) detective is currently assigned to the Command Post in New York and is providing situational awareness to the Vermont State Police.
*   VSP Criminal Division will disseminate flyers to go out through local Troopers to private campgrounds. VSP Bureau of Criminal Investigation is contacting the Vermont Department of Forest and Parks to disseminate these flyers to all state campgrounds.
*   The VSP Tactical Team is ready to respond anywhere in the state based upon any potential sightings.
*   If a situation develops anywhere in VT indicating the presence of the escapees, all available Vermont State Troopers statewide will respond to the scene.
*   VSP Command Staff will respond to the scene.
*   VSP Marine Patrol is deployed on Lake Champlain from our St Albans, Williston, and New Haven barracks.
*   Directed patrols are occurring along the Lake Champlain border, checking on seasonal residences and camps.
*   Any suspicious person(s), camp burglaries, or trespass incidents reported will have an increased response.
*   Vermont Crime Information Center is in direct contact with the New York State  Intelligence Center for information sharing.

The Vermont State Police will do everything in its power to protect Vermonters lives and property, and assist New York authorities in the safe apprehension of these two escapees.  If you have any information that could lead to the location or capture of these individuals, call 911 immediately.

Please contact Public Information Officer Scott Waterman with any further inquiries.

Scott Waterman
Vermont State Police Public Information Officer<>
Desk 802-241-5277
Cell 802-279-4554


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin June 10 urged residents of their states to remain vigilant as the manhunt continues for two escapees from the Clinton Community Correctional Facility in Dannemora.

Convicted killers Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34, escaped Saturday, June 6, from the maximum-security prison using power tools and tunnels.

Gov. Cuomo contacted Gov. Shumlin late this morning with new information suggesting  the escapees initially planned to flee into Vermont after the jailbreak, although there is no evidence that the two have followed through on that plan.

“We have no indication that the individuals are in Vermont, but given this new information we are taking all necessary steps to ensure the safety of Vermonters,” said Gov. Shumlin at a press conference at the Dannemora prison. “Everyone should be vigilant, and report suspicious activity to law enforcement.”

Governors Shumlin and Cuomo advised residents not to approach anyone resembling the escapees, who are considered dangerous.

Vermont Public Safety Commissioner Keith Flynn said patrols have been increased and up to 100 troopers are available for action if needed.

Fliers featuring photos of the two men will be distributed in key areas, and patrols are checking seasonal camps for suspicious activity. In addition, he said, a State Police Tactical Team is ready to respond anywhere in the state based upon mission needs, and VSP Marine Patrol units are deployed on Lake Champlain out of the St Albans, Williston, and New Haven barracks. Vermont State Police can also tap the resources of the Vermont National Guard when the need arises, Flynn said.

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