Officer sues Vermont Police Academy over head injuries

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — A Burlington police officer is suing the Vermont Police Academy for head injuries she suffered during an exercise in which she was repeatedly hit in the head by a trainer.

In a lawsuit filed last week, Officer Erin Bartle alleges she suffered the injuries during training at the academy two years ago. While Bartle was wearing protective gear, including a helmet, she was hit in the head on different occasions by a trainer playing the role of an intoxicated hitchhiker.

The lawsuit says Bartle suffered a traumatic brain injury.

A September review by a Baltimore police officer commissioned by Burlington Police Chief Brandon del Pozo said an instructor striking a trainee in the head is “problematic.”

Police Academy Executive Director Richard Gauthier did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

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