A city councilor in New England has raised the idea of disarming her city’s police force

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — A city councilor in Burlington, Vermont, says the city should consider disarming its police force.

WCAX-TV reports that Perri Freeman says she’s researching law enforcement expectations and training. She says smaller countries similar in size to Vermont, like the U.K., Ireland and Iceland, function with unarmed police forces.

Burlington Police Officers Association President, Daniel Gilligan, says disarming officers is unrealistic. He says those countries have more restrictive gun laws, while the U.S. is “an armed nation.”

Burlington Deputy Police Chief Jon Murad says the U.S. has a high rate of violent crime and that disarming law enforcement would put officers and civilians at risk.

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Freeman says preventing violence and finding its root causes should be the focus.

She says she hopes to bring the conversation to the policing practices committee.