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Police Chief Named Tall Tree Awards Outstanding Professional

Palo Alto Police Chief Dennis Burns was honored for his outstanding civic service to the community on April 9 at the 2014 Tall Tree Awards dinner. The annual awards are sponsored by the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce and the Palo Alto Weekly and recognize people and organizations that have greatly contributed to the Palo Alto community.

Burns, who has been with the Palo Alto Police Department since 1982 and also serves as the City's public safety director, received the award for "Outstanding Professional."

"I am extremely fortunate to receive such recognition," Burns said. "However, the credit goes to the men and women of the Palo Alto Police Department for their tireless work."

During his time in Palo Alto, Burns' service to the community has gone above and beyond. In 2010, he led the City as incident commander during a citywide power outage caused by a plane crash in East Palo Alto, and he has worked with the Santa Clara County Suicide Prevention Task Force.

Letters nominating him for the award praised his "empathy" and "level-headedness," and winners were chosen by past Tall Tree Award recipients.