Chief Morrison sworn in

From the Burlington Free Press, July 30th, 2013:

Chief Morrision sworn in

Chief Morrison sworn in at Colchester Police (Burlington Free Press photo)

Jennifer Morrison took an oath and became the third police chief in the history of Colchester on Monday.

Morrison is the permanent replacement for Chief Charles Kirker, who served the town for 43 years, including 34 as chief. He took over for Ron Smith, who was named chief when the one-man department was created in the mid 1960s.

“I want to assure Chief Kirker and all gathered here that I will take care of this organization and our community the very best of my abilities,” Morrison said before a large crowd outside the refurbished police station.

“This is the proudest day of my career. I am honored to wear your uniform and to serve alongside of you,” she told her the department. “There is a lot of work to be done.”

The 23-year police veteran thanked her family and friends. She also recognized “exceptional mentors and role models” who helped her throughout her career.

Morrison, 44, retired as deputy chief of the Burlington Police Department to take the post in neighboring Colchester, a town of 17,000. She was one of 15 applicants.

Town Manager Dawn Francis and Selectman Thomas Mulcahy both said Morrison will bring many new ideas and energy to the department and town.

Francis noted that Morrison, a former varsity soccer coach at Rice Memorial High School, brings an investment in the future of the town’s youth.

Morrison was sworn in by Colchester Lt. Doug Allen before offering her comments. Allen and Lt. Jeff Barton were the other two finalists for the post.

State’s Attorney T. J. Donovan, Sheriff Ray Allen of Grand Isle County, where Morrison lives, U.S. Marshal David Demag and most of the police chiefs in Chittenden County were on hand.

Also attending was a delegation of Vermont State Police led by their executive officer Maj. William Sheets and Lt. James Whitcomb, the station commander for Chittenden County. Sen. Dick Mazza, D-Chittenden/Grand Isle, led a group of state and local officials.

Colchester police have 26 sworn personnel, nine civilian employees, and an annual operating budget of $3.85 million.

Morrison earned a four-year scholarship to play soccer at George Washington University, where she majored in journalism and criminal justice, graduating in May 1990. She joined Burlington police and served in the patrol division, as the accreditation manager and in the detective bureau. In 2001, she was named director of the Chittenden Unit for Special Investigations.

Morrison obtained a master’s degree in leadership studies from Norwich University in 2002 and graduated from the FBI National Academy in September 2006.

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