Mayor Miro Weinberger to Suspend Police Chief Search

Mayor Miro Weinberger to Suspend Police Chief Search  

Search Committee Recommends Applicant Pool Insufficient for Permanent Appointment, Mayor Suspends Search Pending Further City Council Action 

Burlington, VT – Following a month's long effort to identify and recruit Burlington’s next permanent Police Chief, Mayor Miro Weinberger has notified the City Council that he has accepted the Police Search Committee’s recommendation that the current pool is insufficient for the appointment of a permanent Chief, and that he is suspending the search pending future Council action needed to make this effort successful. Deputy Chief Jon Murad has agreed to stay on as Acting Chief.  

"Our Search Committee confronted a competitive recruitment environment, where many cities are seeking to transform policing in their communities by hiring new, progressive leadership,” said Mayor Weinberger. “That, coupled with the many City Council actions over the last year that have weakened the Department and undermined the Chief’s role, has made a successful search impossible at this time. Burlingtonians want us to choose a permanent chief from a large and competitive pool of leaders eager to serve our City, and it is clear we cannot deliver without new support from Councilors. In the meantime, Acting Chief Murad and I will continue working to rebuild and re-envision a world-class police department in Burlington.” 

For many years the Burlington Police Department (BPD) enjoyed the position of one of Vermont’s most effective and progressive law enforcement agencies, in large part thanks to its leadership advancing twenty-first-century police reform and because of specialized roles within the Department offering career advancement for sworn officers such as the Community Affairs Officer, Airport Division, Street Crimes Unit, and Domestic Violence Prevention Officer. Since June 2020 the BPD has lost more than 30% of its officers. 

Mayor Weinberger informed the City Council that he will not restart the Police Chief search until they take action to support a successful search, including:  

  • Substantially increasing the Police Chief’s salary to a range competitive with communities and police departments of similar scale; 

  • Supporting the engagement of an executive search firm with experience recruiting progressive law enforcement leadership; and 

  • Providing the resources and support a new Police Chief will need to succeed.  Mayor Weinberger committed to detailing these additional needs prior to the City Council’s Nov. 15 meeting. 

Timeline of Police Chief Search Process 

  • On May 14, Mayor Weinberger announced he would resume the Police Chief Search with a goal of concluding in November and outlined a robust public process that began with a community survey. 

  • On August 18, Mayor Weinberger announced the position posting, which included a Public Engagement Report and a new Ideal Candidate Profile.  

  • Following the priority deadline for applications on September 23, the Mayor’s Office and Human Resources Director reviewed the 18 applications received, and recommended to the Search Committee that four candidates be screened for interviews. 

  • In late September, the Mayor’s Office sought input from two police executive search firms who each made clear recommendations that a larger candidate pool would require a substantial increase to the Police Chief’s Salary. The Search Committee expressed that the candidate pool was too small, and supported increasing the Police Chief salary in order to attract more competitive candidates.  

  • The Search Committee’s recommendation was shared with the City Council, however, Progressive City Councilors were not supportive of increasing the salary in line with those recommendations. Councilors requested that the Administration instead re-advertise the position at the current salary. 

  • On October 12, Human Resources re-advertised the position, and proceeded with screening applicants. 

  • Two candidates met the City’s minimum job requirements and advanced beyond the preliminary screening.  

  • This week, Police Chief Search Committee determined that the current applicant pool for the position is insufficient to support the appointment of a permanent Chief of Police and recommended that we not continue the process with this current pool. 






Press Release Date: 
City Department: 
Mayor's Office