Hardwick Police Chief Aaron Cochran has been placed on paid administrative leave pending an internal investigation.

Hardwick Police Chief Aaron Cochran has been placed on paid administrative leave pending an internal investigation. Town Manager David Upson confirmed on Tuesday that retired Vermont State Police Capt. Mike Henry has now been brought in to serve as the town’s interim police chief. Chief Henry is the former state police barracks commander in St. Johnsbury. He retired in October of 2016 as VSP Northern Vermont Commander. Town officials say the investigation into Chief Cochran is being conducted by the Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council. Cochran has served as Hardwick Police Chief for the past decade after replacing former Hardwick Chief of Police Joe LaPorte. The investigation into Chief Cochran follows an investigation into Hardwick Police Sgt. Darin Barber who is no longer with the department after signing a separation agreement last month while also on administrative leave. In early January, the Caledonia County State’s Attorney’s Office stopped accepting cases investigated by Sgt. Barber. “An independent investigation by an outside agency was conducted into the May 2021 incident,” wrote State’s Attorney Jessica Zaleski in an email to Caledonia County defense attorneys. “As a result of that investigation, the Caledonia County State’s Attorney’s Office will no longer be accepting cases from Sgt. Barber.” Town officials say details of both investigations remain confidential because they are personnel issues.

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