April 16, 2013

Vermont's last original trooper dies

The Associated Press

ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. – Harold "Ace" Ackerman, the last original member of the Vermont State Police, died Monday at his home in St. Johnsbury. He was 92.

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In this Dec. 15, 2006 file photo, former Vermont State Police Lt. Harold "Ace" Ackerman, 86, of St. Johnsbury, Vt. stands to be recognized during an awards ceremony at the Statehouse in Montpelier, Vt. The last surviving member of the original Vermont State Police has died. Ackerman died Monday at his home in St. Johnsbury. He was 92. The state police was formed after a 1946 search for a missing Bennington College student proved too complex for local authorities. Ackerman was one of the original troopers when the Vermont State Police was formed from the Department of Motor Vehicles' highway patrol. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

Ackerman was one of the 19 original troopers who hit the road in Rutland after the creation of the state police. He transferred to St. Johnsbury in 1955 and worked there until he retired in 1981 after 25 years of service.

"Ace was extremely proud to be a Vermont State Trooper and enjoyed talking about it," said Lt. Michael Henry, the current commander of the St. Johnsbury barracks.

Henry told the Caledonian record that Ackerman met all of the new troopers assigned to St. Johnsbury and he always gave them the same advice, "listen to your patrol commander."

The state police was formed in the aftermath of the still-unsolved disappearance of a Bennington College student when officials had to call in investigators from Connecticut and New York for assistance.

A history of the Vermont State Police says that the first troopers regularly worked 90-hour weeks, six days a week with each trooper responsible for criminal investigations and routine motor vehicle patrols.

Ackerman was given the nickname "Ace" by his supervisor after he solved a lumber theft the same day it was reported. The nickname stuck.

"I'm so proud even to this day to have been a member of the Vermont State Police," Ackerman said during a 2007 celebration of the 60th anniversary of the state police.


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