Burlington, VT – The Burlington City Council voted in favor of approving Mayor Miro Weinberger’s appointment of then acting Chief Jon Murad a few months ago. On Thursday, Murad assumed the role permanently at a swearing-in and promotion ceremony at Burlington City Hall.
“I am proud and grateful today to offer you one more thing that every world-class city needs, a reliable leader,” said Mayor Weinberger.
After years of Burlington’s mayor and progressives on the city’s council feuding over one of the city’s most polarizing figures, the native Vermonter has now assumed his official role and has a message for those that he serves.
“Our department is committed to making Burlington safe and fair everywhere for everyone,” said Murad.
The honor has not come easy for the Harvard graduate, as he oversaw record gunfire numbers in 2022 and higher incident reports this year.
But Murad says the meaningful work and his colleagues have been the reason for his dedication.
“I love this city. I love this job. I love the men and women I’m fortunate enough to work with. I’m grateful for the support of the mayor. I feel a tremendous obligation from my neighbors to live up to their expectations and I’m not someone who quits,” said Murad.
After much of the department’s resources were snipped in 2020, Murad spent a lot of time recruiting both close to home and in surrounding states and advocating for a new police officers association contract.
Amid a group of other promoted officer’s swearing-in ceremony for five new recruits on Thursday afternoon at One North Avenue, he says he’s the fruits of his labor.
“We’re in a place where we’re feeling that ball start to move,” said Murad.
One of those new recruits is Saja Almogalli, who went to Burlington High School and graduated from the University of Vermont.
Almogalli has even spent time as a community service officer in the department.
On her way to the academy in a couple weeks, Almogalli says she’s grateful to be a part of the rebuilding process.
“I’m very proud to be here. I feel like I stepped up at the right time. It has always been a passion for me to work in Burlington,” said Almogalli.
Now with a permanent chief, Mayor Weinberger says the department has a better chance to streamline that rebuilding process and work together with the city on the ongoing police oversight discussion.
“Downtown Burlington is returning to being the welcoming, vibrant and safe public space that we’ve long enjoyed,” said Mayor Weinberger.
There are only 25 patrol officers in the Queen City which has approximately 45,000 people, so Murad added that now is a vital time to add these officers.