Chief of Police-City of Burlington (VT)

General Purpose
This position is responsible for all aspects of efficient and effective operations of the Burlington Police Department and the provision of equitable and racially just public safety protection and service throughout the City. This role is highly visible and expected to be accessible. The position is also expected to work in collaboration with other City Department Heads and employees, City Councilors, collective bargaining unit members, residents and community partners to identify and resolve a wide range of varied issues within the Department, City government more broadly, and the community as a whole. The Chief of Police must demonstrate honesty and integrity at all times.

Other Information:

Chief of Police Cover Letter (Download PDF reader)
Police Chief Search Public Engagement Report (Download PDF reader)
Essential Job Functions
Direct and control the City’s police force, subject to the Mayor’s authority in case of emergency.
Plan, coordinate, and direct the activities of the Police Department.
Establish policies, priorities, rules, and regulations for the Department that meet national and state standards for law enforcement policing agencies, and consistently review and update policies to ensure that they remain current, in conformance with changing operational needs and legal changes, and responsive to community needs, input, and feedback.
Develop and direct the preparation of the Department’s strategic plans, goals, and objectives for each organizational component, or unit, of the Department.
Ensure the enforcement of laws and municipal ordinances.
Plan and provide appropriate training for the City’s police force.
Work collaboratively with the Police Commission.
Stay current with constitutional and other legal standards for police conduct.
Prepare and administer the annual Departmental budget, exercise final authority over budget expenditures, and be responsible for all Police Department expenditures to ensure that they are in conformity with the City’s procurement policies.
Participate as a key stakeholder in the community’s public safety transformation efforts.
Promote goodwill and public cooperation through presentations to community organizations.
Coordinate with partners and leverage support to develop a CAHOOTS-like model for the City of Burlington to respond to our community’s mental health challenges.
Staff and equip the Department by administering such functions as recruitment, promotions, training, discipline, evaluations, research and development, purchasing, and emergency communications.
Administer and manage the Department’s resources to effectively provide service and protection to the people of Burlington.
Ensure the proper administration of Department information technology systems.
Direct investigations of rule and policy violation allegations and administer corrective action and discipline throughout the Department.
Represent the Department at meetings, on committees, task forces, and other bodies related to City projects; attend Department Head staff meetings and meetings with other public-safety agencies from both within and outside the structure of City government.
Brief the Mayor, Police Commission, and City Council on Department operations, critical incidents, and developments which affect public safety.
Assign and review personnel assignments; issue policy; review performance and other reports to determine the effectiveness of the work performed by Departmental personnel.
Approve the qualifications of all police officers in conjunction with the City’s personnel policies and appoint police officers.
Exercise or oversee the duties outlined in the City charter concerning investigation of allegations of incompetence, misconduct, or dereliction of duty of members of the police force.
Administer labor agreements and union contracts and provide appropriate input to the City’s negotiating team during the collective bargaining process.
Provide the public with a consistent high level of information regarding the operations, duties, responsibilities, activities, and programs of the Department.
Review and recommend municipal ordinances, which relate to public safety and propose additions or modifications as appropriate.
Represent the Department in press and community relations.

Non-Essential Job Functions:
Performs other duties as assigned by the Mayor.

Qualifications/Basic Job Requirements
Education & Experience:

Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration, Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Criminology, or related field from an accredited college or university required. Master’s or advanced degree strongly preferred. An equivalent combination of education and experience may be considered.
Seven to 10 years of progressively responsible law enforcement management experience, with at least three to five years of experience in a command-level position is required.
Certification as police officer via the Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council required within 90 days of hiring or as soon as the VCJTC can accommodate a required training regimen (whichever is sooner).
Proven experience working to eradicate systemic racism in policing
Experience utilizing technology, and with innovative policing strategies and data-driven approaches to community safety to augment police operations, is required.
Experience leading a department of comparable size is strongly preferred.
Experience working with a large university population, student residences, and a vibrant downtown nightlife is preferred.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Communication/Interpersonal Skills/Community Orientation
Experience engaging and incorporating feedback from the community.
Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with employees, government agencies, and City Departments, non-profits, community, and private sector groups
Ability to communicate clearly and concisely, in both oral and written formats
Ability to speak and give presentations to large audiences and the media
Ability to communicate effectively across different communities
Strong background in community relations, customer/citizen satisfaction, and community service

Racial Equity and Fair & Impartial Policing
Ability to actively support City diversity, equity, and cultural competency efforts within stated job responsibilities and work effectively across diverse cultures and constituencies.
Demonstrated commitment to racial equity and inclusion as evidenced by ongoing trainings and professional development and a successful record of implementing professional development for staff in this area.
Cultural competency including an understanding of structural racism.
Ensure a culture of equity, inclusion and respect within the Department.
Demonstrated experience fostering inclusive relationships between officers and communities and an active role in community outreach initiatives and able to contribute to enriching the diversity of the Burlington Police Department.
Thorough knowledge of and experience with fair and impartial policing practices and procedural justice tenets is required.
Demonstrated experience in diverting youth from the juvenile justice system towards other models.

Modern Law Enforcement
Extensive knowledge of: modern principles, practices, and techniques of police administration, organization, and operations; criminal justice system; technical and management phases of law enforcement and crime prevention; and local government organization and administration is required.
Knowledge of the principles and practices of law enforcement, police and public administration is required.
Ability to adapt to a changing law enforcement operating environment.
Thorough knowledge of and experience with community policing, partnering, and collaborative problem solving concepts is required.
Knowledge of standards for law enforcement agencies is required.
Knowledge of criminal and civil liability issues regarding law enforcement is required.
Thorough knowledge of Homeland Security issues is required.
Knowledge of municipal, state and federal criminal and civil laws and codes is required.

Ability to diffuse and manage emergency situations.
Experience recruiting, training, and retaining quality personnel.
Working knowledge and demonstrated ability in the areas of labor relations, budget preparation, human resource management, and fiscal responsibility in the delivery of police services.
Ability to lead a complex police organization.
Ability to understand and comply with City standards, safety rules and personnel policies.
Ability to manage complex organizational and employee issues using solid judgment and the utmost level of the confidentiality, integrity and trustworthiness is required.
Ability to prioritize work and problem solve to accomplish competing objectives while meeting deadlines is required.
Regular attendance and availability to respond to emergent and time-sensitive situations are essential to meeting expectations of the job functions.

Strong background in IT systems and demonstrated effective use of technology in the law enforcement context.
Knowledge of and experience with data-driven decision making and evidence-based practice in criminal justice and policing.

Special Requirements:
Must become a legal voter of Burlington within one year of employment (per City of Burlington Charter).
Appointed by the Mayor on an annual basis.
Must possess a valid driver’s license.

Promoting a culture that reveres diversity and equity.
The City of Burlington is proud to be an equal opportunity employer, and we are strongly committed to creating a dynamic and equitable work-force that mirrors the population and world that we serve. We do not discriminate on the basis of political or religious affiliation, race, color, national origin, place of birth, ancestry, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, crime victim status, veteran status, disability, HIV positive status, or genetic information in employment or the provision of services.
In addition to being an equal opportunity employer we actively encourage applicants who can contribute to our growing diversity to apply.
Applications for our employment opportunities are only accepted online through our Government Jobs website.
For accessibility information or alternative formats, please contact Human Resources Department at 802-540-3057 or

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