Police Reform Resources

Community Police Advisory Team

Over the past few months, the Burlington City Council, City Manager and other staff have been working with the community to draft a charter for the Community Police Advisory Team (CPAT).  

CPAT Draft Charter version 11-12-20
Charter will be considered for adoption by City Council on 11/17/20

CPAT Draft Charter version 10-29-20

 Changes captured in 10-29-20 version
  • An acknowledgements section was added as Article II.  (This is intended to provide broader context prior to outlining the mission and goals. This was suggested based upon feedback from persons offering comments )
  • Some wording was added to the Mission section – Article III.  (The intent was to provide additional clarity.)
  • In Article IV. – Goals:  former goal #2 and goal #4 was blended into other goals. (There are now 9 goals instead of 11 – attempting to eliminate redundancy.)
  • There are more details in what is now Goal #9 – formerly Goal #11.  (This is suggested based upon feedback from persons offering comments.)
  • In Article VI. – Membership:  the new language provides clarification on how the selection process will work – similar to the City’s existing processes managed by Community Engagement Division.  All members will be required to live in the City Limits and will be appointed by City Council. (This is changed based upon feedback from City Council.)
  • In Article VI. – Membership:  racial equity learning opportunity was added as a required or strongly encouraged component of member responsibilities.  These learning opportunities can be arranged by BPD or members could seek on their own. (This was a suggestion from persons in the community offering comments and would have likely been a part of the CPAT Team’s program of work anyway.)
  • In Article VIII. – Meetings:  a section was added related to hosting public forums.  (This was a suggestion from persons in the community offering comments and would have likely been a part of the CPAT Team’s program of work anyway.)
  • In Article IX. – Member’s Role:  the expectation for police ride-alongs was changed from “required” to “encouraged.”  (This is recognition that some members may not be physically able to participate or unwilling to do so because of past traumatic experiences.)
  • Article XIII. has been added as a periodic charter review by the CPAT group as a method of continuous improvement. All suggested changes will be scheduled for public comment and formal consideration by City Council at a Council Meeting.  (This is intended to allow the group to suggest changes that may improve the group while providing Council the ultimate authority to leave the group as is or allow for modifications.)

CPAT Draft Charter version 9-4-20


Community Response from burlington police department 

The murder of George Floyd sparked a robust and meaningful conversation about reforming policing around the nation and world. The Burlington Police Department is committed to being a part of that conversation and stands with our community. 
Chief Jeffrey Smythe letter and response to community questions  June 10, 2020
#8Can'tWait Memo/Request and BPD Response  July 2, 2020
Press Conference: Use of Force and Community Interaction hosted by "Actively Changing Together" (ACT) and Alamance County Law Enforcement Agencies   July 3, 2020
Alamance Agents for Change Memo/Request with Clarification  June 21, 2020
Burlington Police Department Response to Alamance Agents for Change Memo/Request  July 3, 2020

Accreditation for police departments 

Accreditation holds police departments to a set of standards and guidelines.
What is CALEA Accreditation and why does it matter? 

The Burlington Police Department was first accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc, (CALEA) in April, 1989. The agency has maintained accredited status, in good standing, for the last 27 years and was re-accredited with Advanced Gold Standard at the March 2017 conference. Learn more

There are nearly 18,000 eligible law enforcement agencies (local, state, and federal in the United States) that could choose to be accredited. For a variety of reasons, about 726 agencies are currently accredited. Only about 4% of police agencies are currently accredited in the US. 

Burlington Police Department meets 100% of CALEA  accreditation standards meeting the requirements of Gold Standard in Public Safety.”

NCDOJ weighs in 

The North Carolina Sheriffs’ Education and Training Standards Commission and the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission recently published a press release about the work they are doing to provide high quality training and standards for law enforcement officers in North Carolina. You can read the full press release here.



Members of the City of Burlington Administration and City of Burlington Police Department joined NACOLE (National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement) to continue to learn and practice the leading methods in community engagement.  

A Meaningful Sign:

At May 31, 2020'
s peaceful gathering in North Park, someone gave Chief Smythe a sign and he carried it proudly. He brought the sign to Headquarters so other officers could express their solidarity with those who protest the killing of George Floyd and all police brutality. Many on duty today took a moment to proudly do just that.


The executive committee of the NCACP produced the attached public service announcement to help illustrate what police agencies are currently doing or have done in the area of police reform and training.

The intent of this PSA is to inform the public of the years of hard work of the NCACP on police reform led by this association. Learn more here