New faces coming to Bennington police

Two officers, K-9 team graduate programs

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BENNINGTON — The police department will soon have three new members on the force.

Two new recruits from the academy, as well as a Bennington officer and a K-9, graduated from their respective programs this week, according to Chief of Police Paul Doucette.

Graduations from various Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council programs were celebrated with a ceremony at the police academy in Pittsford on Friday morning.

Two recruits will join the department this winter: Dustin Lynds and Derek Osgood have both completed the 104th Basic Training for Police Professionals.

And Bennington Officer Robert Murawski and K-9 Gracie, a German Shepard who will serve as the department's police dog, have both completed their own training. At Friday's ceremony, they both graduated from the Canine Tracking School.

"With the departure of a couple of members through retirement and with one going to the Vermont State Police, our staffing levels were down a bit," Doucette said. "With these officers coming from the academy, that will reduce overtime and allow us to provide coverage to the town. I'm pleased they successfully completed training and am looking forward to them becoming successful patrol officers."

A total of 33 recruits from agencies all across Vermont received their certification as Level III officers at Friday's ceremony. Among them was Christopher Bohl with the Bennington County Sheriff's Department.

Three teams of officers and canines graduated from the Canine Tracking School.

The Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council runs two basic training classes each year. The 16-week course covers criminal law, defensive tactics, community policing, investigative procedures, and more, according to the council's website.

Both Lynds and Osgood will be at the academy for the next few weeks for post-basic training. After that comes a six-week skilled training program and, when they complete those requirements, will become regular members of the Bennington police. Doucette they should be on patrol by February.

Murawski and Gracie are both scheduled to complete the Canine Drug Detection School this winter, Doucette said.

Ed Damon can be reached at edamon@benningtonbanner.com, at @edamon_banner on Twitter and 802-447-7567, ext. 111.


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