Hinesburg Community Police Chief Frank Koss has been selected by his peers to be president of the Vermont Association of Chiefs of Police for the coming year.
Koss replaces Colchester Police Chief Jennifer Morrison, the first woman to lead the statewide association.
There are plenty of important issues facing the association, which represents the interests of more than 50 municipal police departments.
Koss said proper training of police and the recruitment of qualified individuals to serve departments are two of the bigger issues. He said local police and sheriffs are having difficult times finding qualified candidates to fill vacancies.
Questions about marijuana also are likely to be on the front burner for the next 12 months.
“I don’t know where it is going,” Koss said during an interview in his office in the heart of downtown Hinesburg. Vermont is still without a way to conduct roadside tests for drivers thought to be impaired by marijuana as the state moves to legalization of small amounts of the drug on July 1.
The chiefs association, which is 52 years old, tries to make itself heard at the Statehouse in Montpelier on public safety issues that they deal with on a daily basis. The departments are diverse: They range from a one-person department to some with more than 100 members.
He said the state association might consider hiring an executive director to promote its message. The state’s attorneys and sheriffs have an executive director.
Koss, 66, is active in the public safety community. He is the chief’s representative to the Vermont Highway Safety Alliance and serves on the board of the Chittenden Unit for Special Investigations, which focuses on sex and child crimes.
He also is an emergency medical technician for Hinesburg First Response and a firefighter on the town’s volunteer fire department.
Koss began his Vermont law enforcement career as a patrol officer in Williston in 2006, but jumped after 8 months to become the deputy chief in Hinesburg. He has been the police chief for about 5 years.
He started his law enforcement career with the airport police in Anchorage, Alaska, in 1975 and left after two and a half years to do security work before working for the California Highway Patrol. He spent 24 years with the CHP, where he attained the rank of sergeant.
Koss also is a retired chief master sergeant from the California Air National Guard.
The other incoming officers of the police chiefs’ association include First Vice President Newport Police Chief Seth DiSanto, who worked for Shelburne Police, and Second Vice President Vergennes Police Chief George Merkel.