Burlington police chief talks about out-of-state policing report while City Council bumps officer cap

Acting Burlington Police Chief Jon Murad went on the radio last week to give an assessment of his department’s operations, and to talk about the continued challenges in running an understaffed department.

While appearing on “The Morning Drive” with Marcus Certa and Kurt Wright, the Burlington police chief said a recent consultancy CNA report acknowledges that current staffing levels are not enough to keep the public safe.

“That is insufficient for the kinds of services that both we want to provide and our community expects, so that was gratifying,” Murad said. “ … We’ve had to make some changes to what we could and couldn’t respond to.”

Burlington Police Department Facebook

BACK ON THE AIR: Last week, Burlington Police Chief Jon Murad updated radio listeners about the latest staffing challenges and solutions for the Burlington Police.

The report states that “BDP is presently understaffed for its volume of calls for service and relies on an inefficient staffing model” based on the previous 74-officer cap set in June 2020.

On Monday, Murad got some relief from city councilors, who voted 8-4 to let the police department to hire up to 87 officers. Eight of those 87 are police officers who work Burlington International Airport.

One recommendation the report suggests is to move officer shifts from their current 10-hour shift to a 12-hour shift standard. However, Murad said he has reviewed studies that see that idea as detrimental to job performance and home lives.

“[The 10-hour shift is] one of the things that is most appealing to the officers we have; it is a tremendously important part of why they are still with the Burlington Police Department,” he said.

One recommendation in the report Murad agrees with is to have more “crisis intervention training” for officers working with intense situations such as mental health emergencies.

Sobering data from a Burlington Police Officer’s Association survey found that more than half of the remaining police staff are actively searching for other work.

According to Murad, the firm responsible for the report did not visit the city throughout the fact-gathering process.

“This was done entirely remotely,” he said.

Certa said that the consultant firm had been criticized for not having engaged enough with the general public.

“Nobody else was talked to, nobody else was interviewed during the process to understand what the community needs really were,” he said. “Was that addressed between the draft and the final at all?”

Another concern for Burlington residents is the lack of traffic stops taking place in the city. Murad said an 80 percent reduction in traffic stops is a strategic adjustment to prioritize the most concerning driving violations rather than minor ones.

When the hosts asked Murad if that was a dangerous trade off, he replied, “Yes, we are going to miss things. Intermittent stops do have a certain amount of efficacy. When you are stopping people, you are sometimes able to find things like firearms or illegally possessed items.”

The whole interview can be viewed online.

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North. Send him news tips at bielawski82@yahoo.com and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Images courtesy of Burlington Police Department and Burlington Police Department Facebook

5 thoughts on “Burlington police chief talks about out-of-state policing report while City Council bumps officer cap

  1. Burlington police have noted that everyone seems to be celebrating Halloween early this year. Officer Mayberry quipped, ” It’s nice to see all the homeless in Burlington getting in early on the Halloween spirit. Seems this year everyone is dressing up as bats, not sure why, but everyone.”

    Meanwhile in Brattleboro, Officer Justice noted, “Halloween has started early in our town, for sure!. Everyone seems to be embracing Islam, not sure why there is all this cultural appropriation going on, it’s just not politically correct.”

    Brattleboro select board immediately went into emergency session to mandate $125 fines for anyone using Arab cultural appropriation. It passed 7-0

    Officer Justice was quoted in the meeting suggesting, ” We should have minimum sentencing of 2 years in prison, this is a hate crime!”

    In Montpelier, the house meanwhile passes $12.3 million dollar bill for bat housing and 1.2 billion for 100 Afghans to resettlement in Vermont.

    While reporting on Montpelier activities in the state house this reporter passed 4 people living out of their cars on Main street, getting ready to go to their morning jobs.

  2. So I’m guessing setting police policy driven by black racists and privileged white leftist youngin’s wasn’t such a good idea.. It’s going to cost them more getting this
    mess straightened out then it would have if they left it alone…. progs running the city are apparently using the old adage backward..one step back a half step forward….
    Sorry for the poor inhabitants who’s vote don’t count but it’s getting the same all over the state.

  3. How many of the City Council members have a background in law enforcement or policing
    policies , or have ever even worn the uniform ?? and they know what the BPD needs !!

    I assume the answer is none, some may have read a book or two on policing but never had
    to walk in their shoes how many on the City Council could even pass the police academy
    training or testing.

    As a tax-paying concerned citizen, I am appalled that these members are the same gaggle
    of fools that allowed protestors takeover of battery park turning it into a slum area and the
    taxpayers paying for the cleanup even though they couldn’t use the park, this proved to me
    the City Council is clueless about policing or crowd control.

    Wake up Burlington, they only have interest in an agenda, not your safety or concerns !!

    • They have no related background to warrant the way they have acted with the police department…….Too many of the Burlington City Councilors have little meaningful real world experience related to anything……..They lack the wisdom and in some cases common sense that is needed when specific skills are absent.

      Throughout human history societies around the world have been governed by ” The Elders”…….Leaders in the community who had the wisdom the people could count on to do the right thing…… The Burlington City Council lacks the wisdom of “Elders” and the direction of the city shows it.

  4. 87 Officers isn’t even near enough for the type of crimes now being enabled, encouraged, and occurring with great frequency since the idiot city counselors made their irresponsible decision last year in order to appease a group of hippie, immature, “children” whom themselves were braking laws as they turned a city park into their private domain.

    Leftist politicians are destroying America and transforming it into Amerika….start telling them where they can put their “liberal” policies at every subsequent election. These politicos BANK at voters having short memories.

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