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Kramer: "Honored and Excited" to be Appointed Burlington Police Chief

John Lovretta
Maj. Dennis Kramer talks with Drake Fenton during an open house for the four finalist for the Burlington Police Chief's position.

Major Dennis Kramer joined the Burlington Police Department on Jan. 1, 1988 as a Communication Operator. 30 years later, he's been tapped to lead the department.

City Manager Jim Ferneau has selected Kramer to be Burlington’s next Police Chief, with the city council scheduled to vote on Kramer's appointment on Monday, April 16. 

“I’m honored and excited to serve the men and women of this department as the chief of police and to serve this community that I have worked in for over 30 years and to continue to foster that environment of having a relationship with this community that lends us to create a more safe environment for everyone to live in in the community,” said Kramer.

Kramer will replace Doug Beaird, who retired after his own 30 year career in law enforcement. Kramer, who is currently serving as Acting Police Chief, said he applied to replace Beaird as Police Chief so he could continue to help the community and make Burlington a better place to live.

“It’s an exciting time for us and there’s going to be a lot of challenges ahead of us,” said Kramer. “I realize that it’s not all flowers and roses. I understand that but I have been under Chief Beaird for the last five years and seen a lot of great things he started here at this police department and in the community and I look forward to carry those initiatives out and moving forward with some additional initiatives.”

Kramer said it’s too early in the process to talk about which initiatives he will continue and which he will introduce to the department. He said his top priorities in the coming weeks will be to fill the vacancy in the command staff created by his appointment and to prepare the department and the community for the opening of the city's new police station this spring.

Kramer said communicating with the residents of Burlington will be an essential part of his new role.

“I hope they embrace the community of trust or the feeling of trust between [the BPD] and the community,” said Kramer. “That we are providing a level of safety that they feel can make them comfortable to move about in the city of Burlington. Not just this community but people outside of Burlington to come here and either live, move here, shop here, or come here for activities. I just want to provide an environment that they feel safe and comfortable to come and have some fun, visit here, live here, or work here.”

Seven people applied for the job, with four moving on to participate in an assessment center late last month. Kramer was among three internal candidates for the job.

City Manager Jim Ferneau said all four finalists excelled in different areas of the assessment, which including multiple interviews, a public forum, and responses to scenarios provided by three out-of-town law enforcement officers.

Ferneau said Kramer was the best fit for the post because of his mix of communication and leadership skills, his organization, and his experience with the department and within its administration.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.