Vermont State Police, 2020

A Vermont State Police cruiser sits parked at a Colchester intersection.

SWANTON – An officer from the Burlington Police Department (BPD) was charged this week with trespassing into an occupied dwelling after an incident in early July at a Swanton home.

According to a Vermont State Police (VSP) report, William Drinkwine, 33, of Brookfield, was charged on Friday with trespassing after unlawfully entering the home of a Swanton woman on July 7.

The woman, who Drinkwine had a prior relationship with, told Drinkwine he wasn’t allowed in her home and Drinkwine left, reportedly without incident.

Drinkwine, a corporal with Burlington’s police department, was off duty at the time.

According to police, the woman reported the incident to the Swanton Village Police Department, who then referred her complaint to the state police.

VSP subsequently opened a criminal investigation into the incident and assigned the investigation to VSP’s Westminster barracks in Southern Vermont, guaranteeing it would be handled by a detective from outside Drinkwine’s working area.

According to a BPD statement, the department suspended Drinkwine following VSP’s launch of a criminal investigation. Drinkwine has not returned to active duty since his suspension.

An internal investigation by Burlington’s police department, initially suspended in lieu of the state police’s criminal investigation, has since been restarted after VSP filed criminal charges against Drinkwine last week.

According to BPD, the department’s acting chief Jon Murad was informed of the incident shortly after midnight on July 8 and supported the Swanton police department’s referring the Swanton woman’s complaint to the state police.

Murad reportedly informed Burlington’s mayor, city attorney and the city’s human resources department about the investigation on July 8 and updated Burlington’s police commission during meetings in executive session as VSP’s investigation continued.

According to BPD, upon the police commission’s request, Burlington’s city council was informed on Sept. 30 about VSP’s investigation into Drinkwine’s alleged trespassing into a Swanton home.

Drinkwine was cited to appear in court in St. Albans on Nov. 2.

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