In the context of violence against women and gender-based violence, these two words are a cornerstone of the efforts undertaken by law enforcement and victim advocates in Vermont. Those two simple words are a powerful reminder that the members of the United States’ 18,000 police departments care about community members’ safety and their lives. Law enforcement leaders and officers care about the residents, businesses, nonprofits, partner agencies, and each other, and they work hard every day to make their respective communities safe, healthy, and vibrant.
In June of 2014, a group of Vermont law enforcement leaders attended the International Association of Chiefs of Police National Law Enforcement Leadership Institute on Violence Against Women, held in collaboration with the Vermont Center for Crime Victim Services and the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. After their attendance at this event, these leaders formed a committee to address violence against women throughout the state of Vermont. Domestic violence contributed to a majority of the homicides in Vermont the year prior to their attendance at the event, and the law enforcement leaders, in collaboration with local victim advocates, decided it was time for a new initiative to decrease the violence. Members of the group recorded a series of public service announcements and kicked off their I Care campaign