Today at the Board of Police Commissioners’ monthly meeting, Deputy Chief Tony Burbridge announced his retirement from policing effective March 31, 2012.
Deputy Burbridge has been a police officer for 34½ years, creating milestones for policing in our community throughout his tenure. Before joining the management ranks, he was one of the founding members of the police union, sitting on the union executive for ten years, six of which he served as President. He is also known for championing the creation of specialty units, including the Emergency Response Team and its sniper program, of which he was a proud member; the K-9 Unit; and the Employee & Family Assistance Program, all of which are still in existence today. In 2001, he volunteered to serve with the United Nations and was posted overseas as the Deputy Director of Operations for the Mission in Kosovo.
As a member of the Police Executive Management Team, Deputy Burbridge negotiated the historic 12-year contract which eliminated the union’s right-to-strike and the municipality’s ability to lock members out, and created a strategic pay formula which placed officers in an equitable pay classification when compared with other police agencies in Canada; this has set the standard for policing in Nova Scotia, given that the salaries of other municipal policing agencies in the province fall within a percentage of HRM’s. He has also been responsible for creating a balanced policing budget each year for the last decade.
Deputy Burbridge will be missed for his sense of humour, forthrightness and contributions to policing at the local, provincial, national and international levels. The members and staff of Halifax Regional Police wish him all the best in his retirement.