UVM police jurisdiction expanded

The Vermont Supreme Court overturned a 2005 District Court decision, granting UVM police officers off campus jurisdiction. The decision was announced Friday, Sept. 1. The ruling stems from a May 2005 incident in which UVM police arrested 20-year-old UVM student James T. Curley-Egan on suspicion of drunk driving while he was off campus. In October 2005, District Court Judge Edward Cashman ruled that UVM police did not have sufficient public oversight to have off campus authority. Cashman’s ruling did not consider the UVM board of trustees as a proper public group, negating the power of the University’s police force off campus. Friday’s Supreme Court decision based it’s ruling on the Vermont Legislature’s foundation of the University’s police force in 1991, not on the UVM board of trustees. The ruling stated, “…the Legislature retains sufficient authority, as recognized in UVM’s charter, over the institution, and, in turn, the police department.” Since its inception in 1991 the UVM police force has operated like any other law enforcement group. “We were a real police department before,” said UVM Police Chief Gary Margolis. “But this puts that to rest and we can get on with things.”