Burlington re-starts search for a police chief after a pandemic pause

Local News

The Burlington Police Department hasn’t had a permanent chief since December 2019. That’s when then-chief Brandon del Pozo resigned after his trolling of a BPD critic on social media became public knowledge. A year ago, the pandemic led Mayor Miro Weinberger to stop the search for a new chief.

However, the Queen City has now resumed the search. The mayor is conducting stakeholder meetings throughout the city this month. He’s also taking feedback via e-mail and through a community survey that’s open to everyone through Friday, June 4.

The survey is adapted from a similar document used in Lincoln, Nebraska earlier this year.
On the surface, the capital of the Cornhusker State might look for qualities in its top cop different from the ones Burlington would seek.

However, Samantha Sheehan is the communications coordinator for Mayor Weinberger’s office. In a brief phone interview on Friday, she said the important takeaway for Queen City staff was how Lincoln conducted the survey, rather than what it found.

Accordingly, Burlington residents will be asked specific questions about personal qualities they want the next chief to have and job priorities the new chief should concentrate on. If respondents also had a chance to ask one specific question in the interview process, the survey asks what that question would be.

The mayor’s office is also taking applications for a police chief search committee that it’ll form next month. One community member will be chosen to join that committee. Weinberger wants to send an appointment for a new BPD chief to the City Council sometime in September.

There are other means of making sure your voice is heard during the search besides the methods already mentioned above. The city has a list of them here.

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