Mayor’s Office

Statement from Mayor Miro Weinberger on Management of BPD Operational Assessment Contract

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
March 17, 2021 
Contact: Olivia LaVecchia 
(802) 734-0617 

Statement from Mayor Miro Weinberger on Management of BPD Operational Assessment Contract

 

Burlington, VT – Today, Mayor Miro Weinberger released the following statement:

“I made a mistake and I am now sharing a plan to fix it.

“As Mayor, our community looks to me to lead with our City’s values, including sincerely championing racial justice in both words and actions.

“An operational and functional assessment of the Burlington Police Department has been planned since last summer, and it is an important document for the future of the City, for achieving racial justice in our law enforcement, and for maintaining public safety. My initial decision regarding management of the project would not have fully served these critical goals. This decision was wrong and reveals my own bias, and I must work transparently to address that. Specifically, I see now that my focusing with this decision on achieving “neutrality” in the way that the process was managed was wrong and reflected the wrong priorities.

“In not asking Director Tyeastia Green to manage this assessment, I belied the deep respect and appreciation that I have for her. One of my proudest moments in my nine years of serving as Mayor was appointing Tyeastia as the City’s first Director of the Department of Racial Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging. I am grateful for her presence in our community and on my leadership team, and for the enormous positive impact she has had in her first year on the job.

“Today, I am announcing that, starting immediately, Tyeastia and the Racial Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Department will manage the operational and functional assessment of the Burlington Police Department. Tyeastia is extremely well qualified to manage this project, and further, after listening to more input over the last several days and having additional discussions with Tyeastia, I see clearly now that she is also the right person to do it. I spoke with Tyeastia last night about my desire to have her manage this project and am very happy she has agreed to do so.

“My initial decision is, again, one that I own, and I am working to reconcile and repair the harm that it caused. I am committed to doing that and bringing our entire community to a place where we can come together on policy for public safety and public health that serves and protects everyone.

“I am grateful to the many people in our community who have spoken about this decision in recent days. I always welcome engagement and feedback, and I hope that you will see my actions today as a sign that I am listening, that I am willing to admit when I have gotten it wrong, and that I will seek to make it right. I will continue to strive to listen and lead our community as we work to overcome institutional and systemic racism and find a shared path forward.”

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Press Release Date: 
03/17/2021
City Department: 
Mayor's Office