Mayor Miro Weinberger’s Statement Regarding the Practice of Extra Duty Overtime for Burlington Police Department Personnel

Burlington, VT – Today, Mayor Miro Weinberger provided an update on the ongoing work to ensure that the practice of voluntary extra duty overtime for police officers and other personnel of the Burlington Police Department best supports the City’s broad public safety goals and priorities.  

“Generally, our practice of allowing voluntary extra-duty police service agreements for special events provides broad public safety benefits, and at no cost to taxpayers. However, I agree with many who have shared their concerns that the recent contract with a private condo association is problematic,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger “This specific off-duty detail was unique, not consistent with City policy we negotiated in 2018, and will not continue. Of much greater concern is that any neighborhood in the City feels that they need to pay out of pocket for basic public safety services. We need to get back to a place as soon as possible where we consistently have a strong public safety presence and the resources to provide an immediate response to any person who calls for police support as we have historically.”

“I understand that news of the River Watch contract gives Burlingtonians pause. Equal application of the law—and of police services—is the cornerstone of our agency, and always has been. Accordingly, Mayor Weinberger and I have reviewed and are reviewing the BPOA collective bargaining agreement with regard to extra-duty work that is not event-based. Right now, it appears that the River Watch contract is unique,” said Chief Jon Murad. “However, that does not solve the greater concern, which is what drove the residents of River Watch to seek this extra-duty contract at all. We stack or defer to online reporting 25% of calls and send CSOs or CSLs to another 25%—that is, we send police to 50% fewer calls. We are down about 60% of patrol staffing. It is these deficits, together with the attendant rise in some crimes, that creates a feeling that service is inadequate throughout the city as a whole. These unresolved issues remain our top priority.”


  • It has long been the practice of the City of Burlington, as it is in most cities, to allow its police officers union to accept contracts with outside parties for the purpose of voluntary extra duty details.
  • Generally, these details help improve public safety broadly at no cost to taxpayers by ensuring that our trained and licensed local officers (in lieu of private security companies or officers from other agencies) are providing traffic control and are available to respond quickly at construction sites and for major public events including sports games, parades, festivals, the observance of major religious holidays, the marathon and other road races, and more.
  • It is common that City permits for such events include terms that require a certain number of police officers be present.
  • In 2018, the Administration prioritized the negotiation of new language to strengthen the oversight of extra duty contracts. As a result, the City’s policy was clarified in the 2018 BPOA contract, and the language carried over in the 2022 contract. Now all extra duty contracts must be approved by the Police Chief or their designee and are limited in scope to be for special events and street construction and the contract is clear that “The official duties of Police Department personnel shall take precedence over all special events, private construction projects, or other outside employment.”

Response to the River Watch – BPOA Contract

  • The Mayor directed the Department leadership to not renew the contract which expired on January 17, 2023, and to not approve any similar contracts.
  • The Mayor notified the Chief and BPOA of his specific concerns around the unique nature of the River Watch contract, and invited union leaders to meet to discuss the issue.
  • The Administration has reviewed the contracts on file going back several years, including prior to the new agreement with BPOA in 2018, and reviewed all hours actually billed for voluntary extra duty in 2022.
  • In total, approximately 220 voluntary overtime hours were billed to River Watch.
  • Preliminary 2022 data shows that sworn officers worked approximately 20,000 hours of overtime, which includes voluntary extra-duty, voluntary BPD details, and held-overtime (where officers are held after their normal shift or asked to come in early). Of the 20,000, approximately 875 hours were extra duty for outside organizations.
  • The Administration finds that the River Watch agreement is unique in that the Company is a private condo association (residence) and that the contract terms include nightly coverage for the full duration of the contract period (about 30 days).
  • The Mayor believes that the River Watch contract is not consistent with the agreed terms in the BPOA contract regarding extra duty agreements for street and special events, and that similar contracts should not be approved going forward.    



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City Department: 
Mayor's Office