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VT Sheriff's Association Calls for Immediate Resignation of Franklin County Sheriff John Grismore

December 11, 2023

Finding of Excessive Force by Vermont Criminal Justice Council Warrants Action

Montpelier, VT, December 11, 2023 - In response to the recent findings by the Vermont Criminal Justice Council, the Vermont Sheriff's Association calls for the immediate resignation of Franklin County Sheriff John Grismore. All of the following may be attributed to Sheriff Mark Anderson, President of the Vermont Sheriff’s Association.

In the best interest of fostering a positive and accountable environment, the Vermont Sheriff's Association, after the release of the Vermont Criminal Justice Council findings urges Sheriff Grismore to put Franklin County and that of the State of Vermont’s needs before his own and step down immediately. It is time to allow for new leadership to rebuild public confidence to move Franklin County forward.

Sheriff John Grismore should resign as a positive statement to restore public trust and to ensure the public confidence is reinstated in the Franklin County Sheriff's Department. The Vermont Sheriff's Association continues its commitment to upholding the values of integrity, accountability, and transparency across the board.

The Vermont Criminal Justice Council's finding of the use of excessive force against Sheriff Grismore and the flaunting of responsibility for his actions in August 2022 have demonstrated Sheriff Grismore's inability to provide the professional leadership necessary to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of the office he was elected to uphold.

Sheriff Mark Anderson, President of the Vermont Sheriff’s Association, pointed to three key reasons for the organization’s decision to publicly call for Sheriff Grismore’s resignation:

1. Ethical Concerns: Sheriff Grismore was found by the Vermont Criminal Justice Council to have violated the Statewide Use of Force policy against a restrained prisoner in August of 2022. Grismore’s continued defiance provides no opportunity for improvement or corrective action.

2. Lack of Leadership: Sheriff Grismore continues to defend his actions ostentatiously, with no remorse, reflection, or opportunity to consider alternative resolutions. Instead, he continues to justify his actions by attributing blame to his deputies' inexperience. Evidence clearly proves that two capable deputies performed their duties appropriately, exemplified proper application of state policy, and demonstrated reasonable actions while interacting with an impaired prisoner.

3. Loss of Public Confidence: The public perception of Sheriff Grismore’s actions have negatively impacted confidence in the department and have resulted in a lack of public confidence in law enforcement all across Vermont. Sheriff Grismore attempts to unnerve law enforcement officers who carry out their lawful responsibilities only serves to harm our profession for his own benefit.

The Vermont Sheriff's Association remains committed to working collaboratively with all stakeholders to ensure that our communities thrive under ethical, transparent, and responsible leadership.
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About the Vermont Sheriff's Association and Sheriff Mark Anderson:

The Vermont Sheriff's Association is dedicated to providing professional education, appropriate standards of practice, and training to all Vermont sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, and the staff of each sheriffs' offices. Our organization is committed to fostering accountability and transparency within our collective communities.

Sheriff Mark Anderson was appointed Sheriff of Windham County in 2019 by Governor Phil Scott and was elected Windham County Sheriff in 2022. He has been President of the Vermont Sheriff’s Association since April 2021. Anderson has been a sworn law enforcement officer in Vermont since June of 2004. He serves on the Vermont Criminal Justice Council, as a Master Instructor at the Vermont Police Academy, in addition to his service on other boards and organizations.

Sheriff Mark Anderson
Windham County Sheriff's Office
(p) 802-365-4942 (f) 802-365-4945

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Sheriff, Mark Anderson