Mayor’s Office

Events at the Burlington Police Department This Week

Neighbors,

It has been a challenging week for the Burlington Police Department and for the City. Since this situation began in July, it has been one of the toughest that I have faced in this office. I know that some are critical of how I have addressed it. Burlingtonians should know that, throughout, I grappled with a difficult set of circumstances and carefully considered how best to balance many competing factors. I sought to follow the principles that employee medical information should be protected, that hard-working employees deserve second chances, and that we should treat each other with compassion.

To close this week, on Friday, I announced action on several fronts to begin the work of moving forward. Specifically, I am taking five steps to address multiple facets of the Burlington Police Department's leadership and social media practices. These are:
1) I will conduct a full, national search for the next Chief of Police;
2) I will appoint Jennifer Morrison, 23-year veteran of the Burlington Police Department and former Chief of Police of the Colchester Police Department, to serve as Interim Chief of Police during the months that it takes for the City to complete a national search;
3) Deputy Chief Jan Wright has been placed on administrative leave as the City finalizes its investigation into her social media activity;
4) The City will hire a workplace expert to conduct a review of the Burlington Police Department's social media practices in order to understand the Department's existing practices around social media use, develop clear standards for behavior, and determine what training and/or policy changes will be needed to ensure that those standards are implemented; and
5) I have directed all City employees to follow a highly vetted, interim social media policy until the City Council formally adopts a final policy.

I invite you to read more about each of these steps on the City website: https://www.burlingtonvt.gov/Press/mayor-miro-weinberger-announces-series-of-next-steps-for-burlington-police-department. I also have laid out in detail the decisions that I made over the course of this situation in a series of statements this week:
- Dec. 13: "Statement Regarding Chief del Pozo's Twitter Account and Related Actions"
- Dec. 16: "Statement Regarding the Resignation of Chief of Police Brandon del Pozo"
- Dec. 16: "Statement Regarding Deputy Chief Jan Wright"

Even during a difficult week, it is a privilege to get to serve in this role. I wish everyone a joyful and revitalizing period over the winter holidays and into the New Year.

Warmly,
Miro

PS - To close out the week, don't miss this amazing story about how our Department of Public Works team went above and beyond on Thursday to ensure that eight pallets of Amazon boxes – many of them likely holiday gifts – got delivered in time for the holidays.

And PPS – Check out the schedule of amazing events planned for Highlight on New Year's Eve!