Metro

MONTPELIER

Vt. police say they are working to reduce bias

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Two of Vermont’s top police leaders said they are working to eliminate biased policing in their departments. The comments from the police chiefs in Burlington and Rutland came after the Vermont chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union released a report saying blacks are more likely than whites to be arrested on marijuana charges in the state. The ACLU used federal crime statistics and US Census data from 2001 to 2010 to determine that blacks were 4.4 times more likely than whites to be arrested on marijuana charges in Vermont. The national figure was 3.73 percent more likely. Rutland Police Chief James Baker and Burlington Chief Mike Schirling said they are not familiar with the ACLU marijuana report, but say they are working to eliminate all bias.