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Police Chief Dennis Burns to retire

Original post made on Dec 13, 2016

Palo Alto Police Chief Dennis Burns, a City Hall veteran who rose through the ranks before assuming the department's top position eight years ago, is preparing to turn in his badge later this month.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, December 12, 2016, 4:26 PM

Comments (15)

Posted by Linda Lenoir
a resident of Mountain View
on Dec 13, 2016 at 11:55 am

Congratulations Chief Burns! You are a great loss but I understand there is a life waiting for you after your retirement! I have known you for over 20 years and been on various committees and task forces with you. I never experienced a more caring person, a person who always had a calm demeanor, a person who listened to everyone at the table so they felt heard. You offered your services even when you were not on duty whenever you were called or there was a crisis. Thank you for your dedication and your work with our students at PAUSD. You saved so many of our children and they knew you cared! You attended important events for our youth, fundraisers for our non-profits, you got around! You are a great role model for our youth and adults in our community. I learned from you that in order to make a difference one needs to go above and beyond the daily duties of our job. You did and the community is in a better place because of you!
Thank you Dennis, you will be missed! linda

Posted by Novelera
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 13, 2016 at 12:00 pm

Novelera is a registered user.

Chief Burns, we will miss you. I vividly recall your attendance at the Midtown Ice Cream Social events. I remember you even helping us clean up one year. I have always felt good about the Palo Alto Police with you at the helm.

Posted by Penny
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Dec 13, 2016 at 12:07 pm

Chief Burns stands out as a dedicated leader and public servant. He is a great example of truly good man who consistently does the best he can to support a peaceful and healthy community for everyone. We have been very lucky to have him in this role for so long.

Best wishes, Dennis. And thank you!

Posted by Tony
a resident of Downtown North

on Dec 13, 2016 at 5:43 pm

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Posted by Chris Gaither
a resident of Mayfield
on Dec 13, 2016 at 6:37 pm

This is a very sad day for Palo Alto, but a very positive and happy day for Chief Burns and his family. Thank you for all of your work here in Palo Alto, and for creating a more community based police force. It is actually a joy to stop and speak with officers who are in the neighborhood for whatever reason. They are very open to discussion, and always very professional in the way they address you, as a person. Of course, everything is not always roses when it comes to police having to enforce and carry out their duties, but the PAPD normally leave you with having had a very pleasant encounter, regardless of the situation. I believe this is due to Dennis Burns' leadership over the past 8 years. Best wishes for a great retirement from the force, and new professional endeavors. May the force be with you, always!

Posted by Longtime Resident
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Dec 13, 2016 at 6:56 pm

We thought it was good form, showing courage, integrity & interest in understanding the public and our concerns, when Chief Burns went around to various Palo Alto locations, holding "Meet the Chief" gatherings.

We went to several, early on. It was a useful way to be introduced to the police department, as a whole, and to its leader. It took time and planning, and it was handled beautifully.

Thank you, for a job well done. We wish there were more men like you, Chief Burns, in more areas of city life.

You will be missed. But if you return after an 8 week leave, to your old position, or work in another city, you would be one of the precious few employees that would be worth his salt in that regard. Right now -- you may be the ONLY employee that would be worth that to taxpayers. :)

Posted by Darice
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 13, 2016 at 9:22 pm

Congratulations on your retirement Chief Burns! You have been a valuable employee to Palo Alto and you will surely be missed. It was an honor to serve on various committees with you. Your dedication and support to our youth and the community is laudable and inspiring. I know I will miss seeing you around. Enjoy your well deserved retirement!

Posted by Mark
a resident of Palo Verde
on Dec 14, 2016 at 12:42 am

Dear Mr. Burns--

Thank you so much for your service to our community Mr. Burns. I wish you luck and lots of happiness in your next new life!

Thank you,


Posted by @PAFreePress
a resident of another community
on Dec 14, 2016 at 4:51 am

We wish Dennis Burns an enjoyable retirement he’s earned. Although I have disagreed with many of his policy’s, Dennis has always displayed a calm demeanor including being an exceptional listener. Both are critical ingredients as a successful leader. And I think he’s demonstrated that. Dennis, its your time to buy cup coffee the next time I’m back in town….

The Best is yet to come.


Posted by Larry
a resident of Gunn High School
on Dec 14, 2016 at 11:28 am

A true "Cop's cop!"

Posted by Renaissance
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Dec 14, 2016 at 6:29 pm

Dennis is a renaissance man. He truly inspires me. He leads by example.

For example, he shows up for firearms qualifications, where past Chiefs found excuses to miss their scheduled "Range Times". He also earned his appointment by merit, rather than by political pressure - i.e., Looking good in the press and demographics.

Dennis never made a large splash to bring attention to himself. He did it by working hard and making good decisions! Very rare today. Especially in L.E.

Hit them with the Hein, Dennis! A-1

Posted by Alex A.
a resident of Stanford
on Dec 15, 2016 at 6:01 pm

Chief Burns will be missed. He once spoke at my retirement home and was instantly liked.

I imagine he will find work in the private sector, guarding some high-tech executive like John Costa.

He's such a nice looking young man. Bearing a strong resemblance to Mitt Romney.

I'll miss you Chief Burns!

Posted by Sea Reddy
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 15, 2016 at 9:46 pm

Dennis Burns is a nice guy. He is a good police chief.

We will miss him.

Best wishes on his retirement.

Posted by Jeffery P
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 23, 2016 at 4:13 pm

Thank you Chief Burns, your leadership has demonstrated "To Protect & To Serve" includes EVERYONE. The true testament of your leadership is the number of great members of the force to carry your legacy forward.
Enjoy, the most fun and BEST is yet to come.

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Stanford

on Sep 26, 2017 at 6:49 am

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