Mayor’s Office

Chief Brandon del Pozo Awarded National Innovation & Leadership Award by Top Progressive Policing Organization


May 26, 2016
Contact:  Jennifer Kaulius


Chief Brandon del Pozo Awarded National Innovation & Leadership Award
by Top Progressive Policing Organization


Burlington, VT – Mayor Miro Weinberger today announced that the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) has awarded Burlington Chief of Police Brandon del Pozo with its 2016 Gary Hayes Memorial Award for innovation and leadership. The award honors the memory of PERF’s first executive director who helped lead a major wave of improvements in American policing. It is presented annually to one “up-and-coming” law enforcement executive whose character, record of leadership, and commitment to better policing embody the ideals to which Gary Hayes was committed. 

The Hayes Award was presented to Chief del Pozo today at PERF's annual meeting in New York City. PERF is a Washington, D.C.-based national membership organization of progressive police executives from the largest city, county, and state law enforcement agencies. PERF is dedicated to improving policing and advancing professionalism through research and involvement in public policy debate. Its most recent notable work has been the comprehensive revision of the policies and sensibilities surrounding police use of force. The Burlington Police Department has been an integral part of this effort, which has been widely-chronicled in the national media:

In addition to being cited by PERF for handling recent use of force incidents in Burlington with candid transparency, the direct engagement of concerned citizens, and observable changes in the approaches and tactics of his officers, Chief del Pozo has led the way with several improvements to the Burlington Police Department, including:

  • Using a blend of foot patrols and the work of a newly-constituted community affairs team to address crime and quality of life concerns without reverting to increased arrests, enforcement, and incarceration;
  • Creating an online Transparency Portal, as BPD is one of the newest members of the White House’s open data initiative. The Transparency Portal proactively posts the data and information citizens need to hold their police accountable for their performance, on topics such as race and car stops, citizen complaints, domestic violence, arrests, and crime;
  • Creating the first online citizen complaint reporting system in the state and the region;
  • Severing ties with the Department of Defense’s program to supply police with surplus military equipment;
  • Creating the region’s first full-time, dedicated domestic violence prevention officer, implementing a model of focused deterrence;
  • Equipping the entire Department with naloxone, resulting in several citizens saved from overdose deaths; and
  • Being a persistent advocate for a public health-based police response to the region’s opiate crisis.


“Congratulations Chief del Pozo on this recognition of your work leading our outstanding Police Department,” said Mayor Weinberger. “PERF represents what is right in American policing, and has been a leader in demanding overdue reforms. In early 2015, when faced with the difficult challenge of replacing a retiring Chief amidst a national crisis in policing, I called PERF’s Executive Director Chuck Wexler for help and advice because of this group’s leadership regarding reforms and innovation in policing. One year later, it is welcome news to have PERF commend the work of the Burlington Police Department in this way. Thank you, Chief del Pozo, for your dedicated service to our Burlington community.”

“This is a challenging time to be a leader in the profession of policing,” said Chief del Pozo. “This award reminds us that the challenges and risks associated with helping the profession evolve are worth it. Citizens deserve the evolution, and so do our officers, who need to be able to do their jobs fairly, safely, and with confidence. Burlington is a great city that demands so much of its officers. They are up to the challenge, and I am honored to lead them in meeting it.”

“Chief del Pozo excelled in a variety of crucial roles during his 18-year career with the NYPD and has hit the ground running during his first nine months with the Burlington Police Department,” said PERF Executive Director Chuck Wexler. “He’s been a great partner on PERF’s efforts to improve use-of-force training and policy, has implemented a naloxone program in BPD as part of a public health approach to Burlington’s opiate crisis, and, as a member of the White House Police Open Data Initiative, has worked to improve BPD’s transparency and accountability. Chief del Pozo has had an impressive career and has a very promising future as a leader of the policing profession.” 

Past recipients of the Hayes Award have included many prominent leaders in policing, including: Charles Ramsey (former Commissioner in Philadelphia and Chief in Washington, DC); Commissioner William Bratton (New York City); U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske (also the former Chief in Seattle and former director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy); Camden County, NJ Chief and current PERF President Scott Thomson; Chief Cathy Lanier (Washington, DC); Chief Dean M. Esserman (New Haven, CT); Chief Edward A. Flynn (Milwaukee); and Chief Will Johnson (Arlington, TX).

For additional information about PERF, please visit



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