State News

Vermont State Police celebrates 75th anniversary

The Vermont State Police on Friday, July 1, marked the 75th anniversary of the agency’s creation, a watershed moment that arose from tragedy and laid the groundwork for a proud legacy of dedicated service across generations.

State leaders established the Vermont State Police on July 1, 1947, in the aftermath of the disappearance of Paula Jean Welden, an 18-year-old Bennington College student who vanished the year before. When local officials were unsuccessful in pursuing the case, they called in state police investigators from Connecticut and New York — because Vermont had no similar agency. The case, which remains unsolved, rallied Vermonters and their political leadership to finally launch the Vermont State Police after many years of hesitation and debate.

“Three quarters of a century removed from those formative days, the Vermont State Police stands as a leader in public safety and law enforcement, working every day to serve all the people of the Green Mountain State: residents and visitors, survivors of crime, family members, stranded motorists, lost hikers — all who reach out for our assistance,” the director of the state police, Col. Matthew T. Birmingham, wrote in a letter to the agency’s current sworn and civilian members.

“Our organization and our people stand on the shoulders of those who served before us and built the Vermont State Police into the premier organization it is today,” Birmingham continued. “During the past 75 years, VSP has expanded and evolved into one of the country’s most professional, progressive, and well-respected police agencies.”

VSP is marking the occasion by unveiling commemorative license plates for each cruiser and badges for state troopers. These items will be displayed throughout 2022-23.

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