Police Department

About the BPD

Protecting people from all manner of harm and brokering social cooperation since 1865.

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Located on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain, Burlington is the largest city in the State of Vermont, with a population of 40,000 in a greater metropolitan area of approximately 150,000 residents.  It has been ranked by many organizations as one of the most livable cities in the United States.

The Burlington Police Department was commissioned in 1865 to provide law enforcement services to the Queen City. Throughout our history, the men and women of the department have proudly served their community. We currently serve a residential community of over 40,000, in addition to thousands of students from local colleges and the University of Vermont. The Department has an authorized strength of 105 full-time police officers and 36 civilian support personnel. We operate using core tenets of community policing.


Community Policing is a philosophy that combines the elements of partnerships, problem-solving and organizational change. Since 1999, we have worked with community members to better understand the needs of the neighborhoods. After we reach consensus, we work to set a policing agenda that is lawful, appropriate and without bias.

Our goals are to partner with stakeholders from the community and the service sectors to carry out the problem-solving to which we have all agreed. That may look different for the various parts of the city. For example, in the downtown area we emphasize compliance with liquor control laws and ordinances to maintain a high quality of life. In the hill section, we work with residents on noise and quality of life issues. Throughout the city we are working to reduce drug activity and to keep roads and highways safe.

OUR MISSION AND VALUES: We are committed to policing with the citizens of Burlington to achieve a safe, healthy and self-reliant community.

INTEGRITY - We adhere to the highest ethical standards, assuring the community that their public trust is well founded.
SERVICE - We provide the highest level of service and protection to all people in a competent, courteous manner, tempered with compassion and understanding.
RESPECT - We treat all persons with dignity and respect by promoting equality and fairness both inside and outside the Department.
CREATIVITY - We engage in problem-solving as our primary strategy, involving the community in identification of the problems, the best solutions and their implementation.