Weinberger Taps Former Colchester Chief to Lead Burlington Police Through Upheaval | Off Message

Weinberger Taps Former Colchester Chief to Lead Burlington Police Through Upheaval

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Interim Chief Jennifer Morrison (center) - COURTNEY LAMDIN
  • Courtney Lamdin
  • Interim Chief Jennifer Morrison (center)
Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger on Friday announced the appointment of former Colchester police chief Jennifer Morrison as the Queen City department's latest interim leader.

In an afternoon press conference, Weinberger also said that Deputy Chief Jan Wright has been placed on paid administrative leave as the city's investigation into her social media use continues.

"We're trying to get it done as quickly as possible," Weinberger said. "We're close, but it's not complete."



The news is the latest on the social media scandal that has enveloped the department in recent days. On Monday, Chief Brandon del Pozo resigned after admitting to creating an anonymous Twitter account to troll Burlington resident Charles Winkleman in July. Weinberger named Wright acting chief but replaced her hours later after she admitted to creating an anonymous Facebook profile under the name "Lori Spicer" to engage department critics.
He then named Deputy Chief Jon Murad as acting chief. Murad will continue to serve in the role until January 6, when the city council will be asked to confirm Morrison's post, Weinberger said.

Morrison was the Burlington department's first female deputy chief and retired from the agency after 23 years of service in 2013, and she became chief of the Colchester Police Department. Morrison retired from that post in 2018 and does not intend to apply for the permanent chief position, she said.

Weinberger also announced that the city has retained "workplace expert" Anita Tinney of the Philadelphia area-based Employee and Labor Relations Academy to review the police department's overall social media practices. Her work will begin January 3, the mayor said.

The city council's Human Resources Committee will convene in January to review a draft social media policy, which is in effect until the document is formally approved, Weinberger said.

"I'm fully confident in the department’s ability to make it through this rough patch," he said, "and I hope the people of the department and the public sees the announcements today as important steps towards completing that transition."

Morrison echoed the mayor's optimistic tone, saying that this scandal doesn't define the department.

“This is a world-class police agency," she said. "Do not lose sight of that."