Palo Alto police Capt. Dennis Burns is in the process of being promoted to assistant police chief, effective in late July once all the paperwork is processed, according to reports.
Word of the pending promotion -- still going through city procedural steps -- leaked to some members of the city's Human Relations Commission, who publicly congratulated Burns at the HRC meeting Thursday night.
Burns, 49, is a 25-year veteran of the department.
As a sergeant in the 1990s, Burns headed up the department's investigations unit during several high-profile cases, including that of a serial rapist who was finally caught and convicted.
The assistant-chief position has been vacant since Chief Lynne Johnson was promoted from assistant chief (under then-Chief Pat Dwyer) to chief in early 2003. Johnson at the time had served 28 years in the department, starting out as a patrol officer and the eighth woman officer hired by the department.