Awards and Recognition

The Burlington Police Department and our officers are proud to be recognized for our service by many national, state, and local organizations. The department has been the recipient of a number of awards recognizing our excellent service to the community and improvements in officer training. As a department, we recognize outstanding work within the organization and give recognition for excellence in service. Many of our officers receive awards and commendations for their work in various investigation or other programs in which they may be involved. Officers within the department frequently pursue additional certifications or education to further their skills and abilities officers. We have listed just some of those accomplishments here to show that we are constantly striving to better ourselves for the community we serve.

EMPLOYEE RECOGNITION:


Officers within the department, as well as civilian staff, can receive awards and commendations for a variety of reasons. These awards are used as a way to show the appreciation that the administration and department have for their hard work and dedication. Therefore, on behalf of Chief J. Jeffrey Smythe and the administration staff, thank you for the great job you do for the Burlington Police Department and our city, your efforts are deeply appreciated.  We would like to wish you our most sincere congratulations.
2019 Award photo
2019 Award photo

TYPES OF AWARDS:


It is the policy of the Burlington Police Department to promote and administer an awards and commendations program designed to acknowledge personnel, members of another agency, and citizens who have performed outstanding acts worthy of recognition.
  • Award of Excellence - All police officers below the rank of sergeant and all civilian employees below the position of supervisor are eligible.
  • Excellence in Leadership - All civilian supervisors and officers between the rank of sergeant and captain are eligible. The award is provided for exceptional performance, and it may be given for a single event, series of events, or performance on a special project.
  • Class A Commendation - An attempt to save or protect human life is made through the direct action of an employee above and beyond the call of duty (no risk of his or her personal safety).
  • Class B Commendation - Through the direct action of an employee, a serious felony dangerous to life or against property is prevented, or someone committing the felony is apprehended in the act, or, through the direct action of an employee, not rising to the level of above and beyond the call of duty, death or serious injury to a person was prevented
  • Class C Commendation - Through the direct action or performance of an employee, an exceptional case was cleared that would not normally have been cleared. The police activity is above and beyond what is normally required of an employee during the regular performance of his or her assigned duties.

2019 Awards:

Award Recipient
Telecommunicator of the Year Erica Smith
Class A Commendation Ofc. A. Houck, Ofc. M. Moore, Ofc. R. Poudrier, Ofc. T. Hopkins (2), Ofc. J. Faucette, Ofc. D. Sartwell, Ofc. S. Hardy, Ofc. S. Gardner, Ofc. L. Darden, Ofc. B. Phillips
Class B Commendation Ofc. J. Theriault
Class C Commendation Sgt. J. Light, Ofc. J. Theriault, Ofc. A. Smith, Ofc. J. Comer, Ofc. S. Gardner, Ofc. D. Sartwell, Ofc. T. Hopkins, Ofc. A. Shockley, Ofc. J. Parks
Award of Excellence Ofc. C. Fowler, Ofc. J. Boyles, Ofc. T. Staley, Ofc. W. Wright, Ofc. M. Loy, Ofc. D. Barker, Ofc. P. Baulding, Ofc. F. Arcos, Ofc. S. Hardy, Ofc. D. Moore, Ofc. R. Ward
Critical Incident Recipients Ofc. J. Griffin, Ofc. L. Catoe, Ofc. J. Ashworth, Ofc. D. Hudson, Ofc. D. Moore, Ofc. R. Allison, Ofc. M. Moore, Ofc. M. Loy, Ofc. R. Pacheco, Ofc. J. Cousin
Recognition of Volunteers (500+ hours worked) A. Paquette, J. Rutherford, M. Ladden, L. Kinney, P. Bogdan, D. Stafford
GVCU special recognition 2019

National and State Recognitions:


The Department was first accredited by The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA) in April 1989, and it has maintained its accredited status ever since, being re-accredited in May 2017. More information on the department's accreditation. Individuals and units within the department frequently receive state and national awards for their outstanding work on cases or as professionals.

  • 2019 NENA Representative - Communications Manager Stephanie Chatman was nominated and elected by her peers as the NENA representative for the Central Region in North Carolina. She was sworn in during the NENA Conference. NENA is the National Emergency Number Association or 9-1-1 Association  improves 9-1-1 through research, standards development, training, education, outreach, and advocacy. Their vision is a public made safe and more secure through universally  available state-of-the-art 9-1-1 systems and trained 9-1-1 professionals.
  • 2019 NC Gangs Association - This is awarded to any law enforcement agency and/or prosecutors involved in the course of investigating and prosecuting a significant gang-related case in North or South Carolina. Units are qualified when they devote a significant amount of time to investigate and prosecute the mentioned case, show dedication and goes above and beyond to combat gangs in relation to case, the results of a case need to include at least one guilty verdict or plea, can be awarded to multiple persons involved in one case.

  • 2018 Executive of the Year - Lieutenant Alan Balog of the Burlington Police Department is the the N.C. Police Executive of the Year. Assistant Chief Chris Gaddis nominated Balog, and he was chosen from among 70 nominees. He has fourteen years of law enforcement experience and has been with the Burlington Police Department for six and a half years.
  • 2017 Comprehensive Officer Safety and Officer Wellness Award - National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Fund: "Destination Zero"
  • 2016 RISE Nominees - Officer Safety Campaign
  • 2016 Supervisors of the Year - Stephanie Chatman and Kenyon Harris

Employee Achievements:


The Burlington Police Department is committed to the ongoing education of its officers and civilians. Staff are encouraged to pursue additional educational opportunities, trainings, certificates, and other programs. Here is where we post and honor those achievements. We want our police department to be the best that it can be so that we may serve our community in the best ways possible. So we commend these officers and staff for continuing to improve themselves and their careers.
  • 2019 Administrative Officers Management Program - Sgt. Meisenbach completed this intensive 12 week undergraduate and graduate level program, which covers various topics in police administrations and is only offered to law enforcement supervisors.
  • 2019 West Point Leadership Program - Det. Houck completed this program adapted from the Military Leadership Course for cadets in the U.S. military academy. "It relies heavily on case based learning" and "examines and integrates leadership in organizations".
  • Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) - This is an intensive training that gives our staff knowledge and tools when encountering a community member in mental crisis. The Burlington Police Department has reached a level of having 75% of our patrol staff trained in these life saving techniques. We understand more about mental illness and the resources in our community that lead to better outcomes for these interactions. 


Sgt. Meisenbach graduation
an image of patrolman sonny vaughn in uniform, black and white

Patrolman Sonny W. Vaughn:


Each year the Burlington Police Department honors its only officer killed in the line of duty. They do so to fulfill the promise that we will never forget an officer's service and sacrifice. This is why even though Patrolman Sonnie W. Vaughn was killed in 1938, we still honor his sacrifice. In 2017, a plaque was placed at the scene of the incident at 213 N. Church Street. We will continue to remember and honor Patrolman Vaughn's ultimate sacrifice. Patrolman Sonnie Vaughn and Sheriff Mercellus Robertson, of the Alamance County Sheriff's Department, were shot and killed by two escaped convicts while responding to a burglary-in-progress at a service station at the corner of North Church Street and Trade Street. Both were met with gunshots from the darkness as they entered the station. A third officer returned fire through a window killing one of the convicts as they tried to escape through a back door. The other convict escaped. Both convicts had escaped from an Anson County Prison Camp on October 22, 1938. Patrolman Vaughn was survived by his wife, two sons, and three daughters.