Vermont State Police Director Col. Matthew T. Birmingham has announced that Capt. James Whitcomb has been promoted to major/Field Force Division Commander at headquarters. He assumed sole command of the division effective Monday, April 29.
Whitcomb, who had been Staff Operations Commander has served for more than 20 years in all three of the Vermont State Police’s divisions: Criminal, Field Force and Support Services. He began his state police career in 1998 as a trooper at the New Haven Barracks, serving there until his transfer to the Executive Protection Unit in 2004. A year later, he was promoted to detective sergeant as the Vermont State Police liaison to the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington. In 2007, he began work at the Williston Barracks as a detective, continuing in that capacity until 2009, when he was promoted to lieutenant as director of Internal Affairs. He transferred to commander of the Williston Barracks in 2012, leading that station until his promotion to captain as Troop A Commander in 2015. Prior to his promotion earlier this year to major, Whitcomb served as Staff Operations Commander at Headquarters.
In addition to those duties, Major Whitcomb served on the Scuba Team for 15 years beginning in 2002, commanding that unit from 2009-17. He also was assigned to the Crime Scene Search Team from 2004-09.
The Vermont State Police has three divisions, each commanded by a major: Field Force, which covers all uniform police services; Support Services, which oversees recruitment, training, technology and internal affairs; and the Criminal Division, which investigates major crimes including homicides, drugs and other specialized matters.
The Field Force Division encompasses all Vermont State Police uniformed troopers, corporals, sergeants and lieutenants at the barracks level. There are 10 state police barracks, divided evenly among Troop A in northern Vermont and Troop B in the southern part of the state. Troop A includes the barracks in Derby, Middlesex, St. Albans, St. Johnsbury and Williston; the Troop B barracks are in New Haven, Royalton, Rutland, Shaftsbury and Westminster.
Major Whitcomb grew up in Burlington and is a graduate of Rice Memorial High School and St. Michael’s College. He lives in Shelburne with his wife and three children.