Police chief search to begin after social media mess

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — The mayor of Vermont’s biggest city said a national search for a new police chief will start next month. The city is also hiring an expert to review the Burlington Police Department’s social media practices.

Mayor Miro Weinberger said he’ll consult with the Police Commission and City Council in the search for a new police chief.

Former Police Chief Brandon del Pozo resigned over a fake twitter account he used to heckle a critic, and acting chief Jan Wright was placed on administrative leave after she disclosed she’d also created a fake social media account.

Deputy Chief Jon Murad will continue to lead the department until Weinberger’s new temporary appointee, Jennifer Morrison, takes over as acting chief on Jan. 7. She previously served as a deputy police chief in Burlington and as Colchester’s police chief.

Weinberger announced that workplace expert Anita Tinney will conduct a review of the Burlington Police Department’s social media practices. She begins her work on Jan. 3.

Her review will aim to develop clear standards for appropriate behavior, along with training and policy changes that are necessary to ensure those standards are implemented.

The city has a new draft social media policy that’s in the final stage of implementation but officials acknowledge further changes may be necessary. For example, the policy doesn’t address pseudonymous accounts, and the city will review how to address this in the final policy, officials said.

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