Paul A. Edwards Announces Retirement from South Burlington Police Department
Deputy Chief Paul A. Edwards has served our community for nearly three decades. Beginning his career as a patrol officer, he rose through the ranks with numerous achievements to his current post as Deputy Chief. DC Edwards has served with the utmost professionalism as a dedicated, loyal leader and mentor. He will retire from the department on May 15, 2018.
After beginning his career in 1989 as a police officer in Milton, he moved to the South Burlington Police Department (SBPD) in December 1990. While at SBPD he served as a Patrol Officer, Detective, Corporal, Patrol Sergeant, Detective Sergeant, Support Services Lieutenant and currently serves as Deputy Chief.
Through each step of his career Deputy Chief Edwards has been a true leader, helping to mentor and train younger officers. Serving in 11 different training roles, he has shared his knowledge and experience to help other officers advance in their careers. He helped design and was one of the first instructors in the Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) women’s self-defense program. He helped direct TASER implementation—guiding the transition from mace to pepper ball & pepper spray; the Expandable baton program, and the Stinger tire deflation system. DC Edwards taught both the department and at the Police Academy as a use of force instructor in baton, ground fighting, OC, and Defensive Tactics. He also served as a Department Field Training Officer (FTO).
Recognition has also been bestowed upon DC Edwards through department awards—Heroism Award, Distinguished Achievement Award, several Unit Citations, several Service Awards, and multiple Physical Fitness Awards.
Throughout his career, he has been influential in the greater community. Highlights include;
- one of the first two investigators from SBPD to be part of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC),
- participating in various undercover internet investigations, and
- participating in the county Heroin Interdiction Team (HIT).
- He was recognized by the US Attorney for the District of Vermont and the New England Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.
- He helped develop the community engagement and problem-solving model that SBPD uses today, and will forever be known for having a solid focus on getting the best possible outcome for the victim of criminal activity.
Chief Whipple described Deputy Chief Edwards as a cops’ cop. “The South Burlington Police Department has been fortunate to have someone with his motivation and leadership. His retirement will leave a void that will be a challenge to fill. Paul can be proud of his legacy as a skilled and respected law enforcement executive. He has been my right hand and a trusted executive officer,” said the chief.
Deputy Chief Edwards has been whole-heartedly committed to our community and appreciative of the support of community support for the work that our police officers do. “Police work can be a thankless and turbulent occupation due to fickle and often negative public perception, but I rarely felt that way here in South Burlington, because of the support of our citizens and business people, who always showed that they wanted a great group of professional and well-trained officers to work for them. They regularly acknowledged that they had our back, in nearly all situations. Although police work is the same everywhere because people are the same, my experience here in this community was unlike any other due to that community support and belief in us,” he stated in his resignation letter.
While his career achievements tell the story of a dedicated public servant in our city, the deputy chief, concurrently, served the state and nation in another role. In 1981, he chose to serve our country in the US Army National Guard, where he continues to serve to this day. As an Infantryman, he has deployed to Iraq, Jordan, and Afghanistan during the ongoing War on Terror. He has been awarded the Combat Infantryman’s Badge and two Bronze Star Medals. He currently serves as the Command Sergeant Major of the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 10th Mountain Division.
When City Manager Kevin Dorn received Edwards’ resignation, he replied, “I received your letter, with very, very mixed feelings. You are a great Deputy Chief and leader and we will sorely miss you. But you have also given 27 years of your life to this community. It is time we let you go a new direction.”
Thanks for your service, Deputy Chief. You have left an unforgettable mark. You will be missed.