Burbank's New Gig | Buzz Blog

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Burbank's New Gig

Former Chief Burbank to engage law enforcement agencies for national research consortium.

Posted By on November 5, 2015, 11:44 AM

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click to enlarge Former Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank
  • Former Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank
It's not looking great for his former boss's re-election, but the man Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker asked to resign, former police chief Chris Burbank, appears to have landed on his feet.

Burbank will serve as director of law-enforcement engagement for the Center for Policing Equity (CPE), according to an announcement from the organization.

Established in 2008 by Phillip Atiba Goff and Tracie Keesee, the Center for Policing Equity is a research consortium located at UCLA. The organization pairs police departments with researchers to aid police departments and the community in understanding basic police behavior, such as stops and use of force, to get at the root causes of perceived disparities.

In his new role, Burbank will remain based in Salt Lake City and work with law enforcement agencies and lead the center's police review team. In addition, he'll expand CPE's National Justice Database, which compiles statistics on traffic stops and use of force by police nationwide. 

"I have always been interested and engaged in changing the dialogue about law enforcement, both within police departments and between departments and the communities they serve," Burbank said in a prepared statement. "This new position is an exciting opportunity to impact my profession in a meaningful way."

In June 2015, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker asked Burbank to resign for failing to live up to the mayor's expectations on dealing with sexual harassment claims within the police department. The rift stemmed from substantiated sexual harassment claims by three female police officers against a deputy chief. The deputy chief was placed on paid leave until retiring with full benefits. Burbank had served nine years as chief and 25 years with the police department and was known for his more progressive stands on the role of city police in immigration policing, racial profiling and use of force.

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