Vermont State Police

History of the Vermont State Police Shoulder Patch

The Vermont State Police shoulder patch is a modification of the Great Seal of Vermont and the State’s Coat of Arms originally designed by Ira Allen of the Green Mountain Boys’ fame. The Mountain pecks are Camel’s Hump and Mount Mansfield as viewed from a point opposite Burlington.  It is believed that Samuel de Champlain, the “Discoverer” of Vermont, first saw area from that vantage point.  The view also services as a constant reminder of the beauty of the Green Mountains.  The tall pine tree represents one presumably visible from the windows of the home of our first head of state, Governor Thomas Chittenden .  The wooded hills stand out sharply as they actually do on a bright October day.  Beneath the hills are sheaves of grain and a grazing cow depicting Vermont’s agricultural can dairying industries.  And above it all is a deer’s head attesting to the States abundant wildlife.

The Vermont State Police shoulder patch was adopted in 1947 by Major General Meritt A. Edson, the first Commissioner.

The History of the Vermont State Police Motorcycle Unit

In 1925 there was a massive re-write of all of Vermont’s motor vehicle laws. As part of that legislation a separate Motor Vehicle Bureau was created within the Secretary of State’s office.  As part of the organizational structure established for the Motor Vehicle Bureau the Department’s enforcement personnel formed the “Vermont Highway Patrol”.  The patrol officers at that time were uniformed and those uniforms were purchased by the State. However, the motorcycles used were purchased by the officers themselves. It is not clear how many motorcycle patrol officers there were when the Highway Patrol was first established.   However , we do know that the first motorcycle patrol officers were part time (six month) positions.We do have a newspaper article from April 1927 that indicates the size of the motorcycle patrol force to consist of a dozen officers.  At that time their work year was also expanded from 6 to 7 months.   In 1929 the motorcycle patrol was expanded to 15 officers. This number fluctuated between 10 and 15  over the next few years, I assume based on budgetary considerations.   In 1937 the State procured patrol cars for the Highway Patrol and that brought an end to the Motorcycle unit within DMV.  In 1947 the Vermont State Police was formed and they have never had a Motorcycle police force. 


Information and Photos provided by the Vermont State Police