June 8 2015

Burlington Police Appoint First-Ever Deputy Chief

By: Rich Hosford

For the first time in its long history, the Burlington Police Department has a deputy chief.


Chief Michael Kent announced the appointment of Captain Thomas Duffy as Deputy Chief during Monday night’s Board of Selectmen meeting. Town Administrator John Petrin officially made the appointment and the board voted 5-0-0 to waive the standard 15-day waiting period on new hires and promotions. 

Petrin said he and Kent had been talking for a while about creating a deputy chief position. He said it was necessary now because the police department keeps growing and becoming ever more busy as new businesses and people come to town.  

As Deputy Chief, Duffy will provide a clear line of command and assist in the daily operations of running the department, a release from the department released after the appointment states. 

"I am pleased to have Captain Duffy as second in command, because he is a dedicated member of the department with decades of meritorious service," Chief Kent said. "I know he will excel in this job and assist in moving the department forward."

Duffy has spent his entire police career at the Burlington Police Department. Since 2011, he's worked as Captain, serving as the Operations Commander and the senior ranking officer when the Chief is off duty.

For almost 10 years prior to that, from 2003 to 2011, Duffy maintained the rank as lieutenant, the release states. He managed the daily operations of all three patrol shifts, served as Commander for the Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council's School Threat Assessment and Response System (he earned the NEMLEC Exceptional Service Award in 2009) and was a liaison to the Burlington High School Emergency Response Team.

As a Sergeant, Duffy’s rank from 1991 to 2003 he served time as the Officer in Charge of the department’s Firearms Training Unit as well as the Officer in Charge of the department’s Traffic Division. Additionally as a Sergeant, Duffy became a Squad Leader as a member of the NEMLEC Tactical Police Force. In 2000, he was assigned to the NEMLEC S.T.A.R.S. Unit, which responds to incidents of school violence.

Duffy started with Burlington Police in 1985 as a patrolman. At the time, he was assigned to the traffic division as the department's first motorcycle officer. Two years later, he joined the NEMLEC Tactical Police Force while performing his other patrol duties in Burlington.

"I am excited and honored to be stepping into the role of Deputy Chief," Duffy said in a written release. "I look forward to working more closely with Chief Kent and to further strengthen department operations while continuing to keep Burlington safe for our residents."

Duffy grew up in Burlington and has lived in town for 53 years. He attended Burlington schools and was actively involved in youth and high school sports, where he participated and coached. He has three children, two daughters and one son who were also raised in Burlington and attended Burlington schools and participated in athletics as well.


Over the years, Duffy has completed a wide range of training courses to improve his skills. This includes graduating from the prestigious FBI National Academy, FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar and the Senior Management Institute for Police. Fewer than one percent of police officers in the country are National Academy graduates.

Duffy also completed over 2,300 hours of additional specialized training to further strengthen his administrative skills and work in the field.

Duffy holds a master's degree in criminal justice administration from Western New England College.

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