Sgt. Barbara Zonay - Patrol Commander, Royalton Barracks
My career in the State Police has been an interesting and rewarding one. You might be wondering why I chose this field for my career. When I was a teenager, I started as a volunteer firefighter. This exposed me to emergencies and I then became an EMT and began working for Windsor Ambulance part time as an EMT. I wanted to be a career firefighter, but had not had any luck getting on with full-time departments. When I tested for the State Police, 13 years ago, I had been physically training for about two years. This preparation helped me pass the standards with flying colors. I would suggest to every applicant to be familiar with the standards and push yourself until you can pass them with ease. This job is physically demanding and you need to be prepared, fit and strong at all times.
I was hired in the summer or 1997 and graduated from the Academy in December of that same year. My first station was the small barracks of Bradford. While in Bradford, I happened to come across a serious injury motor vehicle collision. The operator had been drinking and fell asleep, veering off the road and hitting a large boulder. The impact sheared off the passenger side door and the female passenger ended up partially ejected. The car was catapulted back across the road, rolling several times and coming to rest on the driver’s side against a small tree, which suspended the passenger side of the car in the air. During the rolls, the operator was fully ejected, landing relatively unharmed in the grass. The passenger was strangling to death from the seatbelt, which she hung from. When I found them, it had just happened. I called for ambulances and other Troopers to assist. Sgt. John Imburgio and I were able to cut her down and render aid until the ambulance arrived. The passenger sustained massive internal injuries, and was in the hospital for several weeks. Both Sgt. Imburgio and I received Lifesaving awards for our actions. She would have died before rescue arrived had we not removed her from the car. This collision was the strangest one I have seen, because in every other crash I have investigated, the unbelted occupant has always had the most serious or fatal injuries. It was truly a rare crash and the only one where I have seen this occur.
In 1999, I worked for a short time on the DUI Task Force. This allowed me to work in Rutland and Bethel’s areas as part of a focused DUI Patrol. I transferred to Bethel Station immediately after working the task force. While in Bethel, I became certified as a Field Training Officer to train new Troopers stationed at Bethel. Around the same time, I was fortunate enough to be chosen for the VSP SCUBA Team and spent 7 years on that team. The SCUBA Team dives for evidence and body recoveries. As a member of that team I became certified through the level of Rescue Diver. During that time, Bethel Barracks was undergoing changes of its own. Our tiny building was torn down after a new building was built to replace the outdated structure. When this building was completed, the barracks’ name was changed to Royalton. In 2006, I became a Traffic Crash Reconstructionist, which involves 3 more separate two week schools after Basic Academy training. I left the SCUBA Team in 2007 in order to become a member of the newly formed Crash Reconstruction Team. Through both of these teams, I had the chance to travel throughout the state and assist other Troopers with cases. To assist in this capacity is to make a small state even smaller, and be able to interact with Troopers that you may otherwise never meet. In the fall of 2008, I was promoted to Sergeant, Patrol Commander. This is a first line supervisor position who runs the shift and acts a liaison between the Troopers and the Station Commander. A shift usually consists of 2- 4 Troopers on a given day. Some additional duties that I undertake include co-teaching Basic Accident Investigation to the new recruits at the academy and I have recently been instructing and coordinating the At- Scene level (which is level 2) of Accident Investigation.
In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, running and horseback riding. We have a small farm with horses, chickens and an assortment of rescued animals of various shapes and sizes.
My favorite aspect about the job is working with a courageous group of men and women who get a sense of satisfaction from helping those in need. We try to help those who cannot help themselves, whether it is figuring out the cause of a traffic accident, changing a tire for an elderly person, or helping people resolve a conflict in their lives.
Trooper Stacy Corliss – Senior Trooper, Royalton Barracks
I grew up most of my childhood in Castleton, VT. Upon graduation from high school in 2002, I attended St. Lawrence University where I earned my bachelors degree in Economics and Psychology in May of 2006. I started the application process with the Vermont State Police while still at St. Lawrence in 2005. I was hired in December 2006. I started the Vermont State Police Pre-Basic academy in January of 2007 at the age of 23.
Upon graduating from the academy and completing the Post-Basic Academy in June of 2007, I was assigned to the Royalton Barracks. I am fortunate to work with a great group of men and women who have truly become a second family to me. I am also lucky to be stationed in a beautiful, new, state-of-the-art barracks, and serve a diverse crowd of people and places.
In January of 2008, I was selected to be a part of the VSP Honor Guard team. It is something I have become very passionate about and enjoy the opportunity to represent the ‘Green and Gold’ both in and out of state. I have traveled to many neighboring states as far south as Maryland on funeral details to support our much larger national law enforcement family.
In the fall of 2008 I volunteered to take on the responsibility of writing my barracks’ submission to our trooper magazine; The Vermont Trooper. Although I have since passed the torch on to newer Troopers, it was a good experience and a nice way to highlight the good work that we do.
In 2009 and 2010, I organized the Special Olympics Vermont Torch Run for the Royalton Barracks. This is a great benefit for the organization where Troopers and officers throughout the state run the torch to the Games’ host city, Burlington. It is a wonderful event that really makes me proud of what we do and the support that we receive from the communities we serve.
In 2009 I was awarded the combat cross for my efforts in a call for assistance at a residence where a man had pointed a gun at his brother. The gunman ran down the stairs from his apartment and I saw the laser from his gun pointed directly at me. I engaged the subject with my weapon, and although the man was not hit, he immediately dropped to the ground and surrendered his firearm. It was later determined the weapon he had pointed at me was a fully loaded handgun with laser sights. Several other loaded weapons were confiscated from his person and apartment. To receive such an award for simply doing my job was an honor.
In my five plus years as a Vermont State Trooper, I have had the opportunity to attend several special trainings. I have attended an advanced accident school. While all Troopers are trained in basic crash investigation, this class enables Troopers to conduct more advanced investigations. The course lasted two weeks and I gained some very valuable information and skills and a new appreciation for investigating crashes. I have also attended a course on Proactive Criminal Enforcement (P.A.C.E.), during which I gained a vast amount of knowledge and skills to “look beyond the stop.” Recently, I attended a week long course on becoming a Field Training Officer and am now training new recruits who come to my office once they have graduated from the academy.
When I am not sporting the uniform, I am usually doing a variety of different activities to include snowboarding and skiing in the winter, and golfing and hiking in the summer. I am an avid gym member and runner and am training for my first half marathons this spring. I love to travel and spend time with my family and friends. Although I have not started a family of my own yet, I am lucky enough to come home to the “wiggle” (whole body wag) of my yellow Labrador Retriever “Nixon” and his sidekick, Golden Retriever, “Maggie” every night. Life doesn’t get much sweeter than that!
This job keeps you on the tip of your toes and every day brings a new challenge; no two days are ever the same. I can not imagine doing anything different at this point in my life and I am proud to be a Vermont State Trooper.
Lt. Dee Barbic – Commander, Professional Standards Unit
Lt. Barbic has been with the Vermont State Police for 21 years and currently serves as the Commander of Professional Standards. Her career began as a road Trooper at the Colchester barracks and then at the Williston barracks. While there she was a member of the Hostage Negotiation Unit and served as an instructor at the Vermont Police Academy. Lt. Barbic was promoted to Sergeant and served as a Patrol Commander in Lamoille and Chittenden Counties after which she transferred to the Criminal Division and served as a Detective Sergeant at the St. Albans barracks and then at the Williston barracks. During that time she also served as the Assistant Team Leader of the Hostage Negotiation Unit.
In 2006 Lt. Barbic was promoted to Lieutenant and served as the Station Commander for Chittenden and Lamoille counties until 2009 when she was assigned as the Commander of the Special Investigations Unit at Headquarters. Following that assignment she transferred to her current position in 2011. Lt. Barbic has been awarded the Sinclair 6X6 Fitness Award, the Division Commander’s Award and the Director’s Award.
She holds both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Vermont, and has been an Adjunct Faculty Member at Champlain College teaching Family Violence, Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure. She attended the FBI National Academy class 244.
In her free time she enjoys competitive running, and biking and recently began competing in Duathlons and Biathlons. Spending time with her husband and two children is an important part of her life, they are all active athletes and family time usually revolves around sporting activities.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my career with the Vermont State Police and the opportunity to work with the talented and professional members of the department has been especially rewarding. I feel fortunate to have had a career that has been exciting, challenging and gratifying - one in which I truly enjoy my work.”
Lt. Dee Barbic