News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


PRESS RELEASE 11/20/2008
Subject :

Police Chief Announces February 2009 Retirement from the City of Palo Alto
Contact : City Manager James Keene    650-329-2563
Police Chief Lynne Johnson    650-329-2115
Palo Alto, CA – Today, City Manager James Keene announced the retirement of Police Chief Lynne Johnson from the City of Palo Alto, effective February 3, 2009. Johnson will have served the City for 34 years and her last day in the office will be December 19, 2008. Dennis Burns, Assistant Police Chief, will be appointed Acting Police Chief upon Johnson's departure. Keene said that over the next month, Chief Johnson would work closely with Assistant Chief Dennis Burns completing design of the Department’s community outreach process and transitioning other projects.

"After considerable thought, I have decided to retire from the Police Department after nearly 34 years of service. Since I’ve been chief, I’ve hired 32 officers and 15 professional employees; promoted all of the command staff, and promoted seven sergeants and 14 agents. I’ve also had a role in hiring and promoting the majority of our other employees," said Johnson. "I have been extremely proud to be not only a member of the Department but also the leader of such a professional group of men and women for over the last five years."

During Johnson’s tenure, there has been a variety of new programs and initiatives that include implementing mobile audio video systems in all patrol cars, developing a five year strategic plan, working for over 20 years on the strategic objective of securing a new public safety building, assessing the use of tasers through a broad-based task force that included a cross section of community members that supported open dialogue and resulted in the selection of tasers with cameras to record incident use in the field, designating and filling a Community Relations position to be a liaison to the media and community, implementing the Community Alerting and Notification System (CANS), and developing the Parenting Project that provides tools and support to parents of at-risk youth.

"On behalf of the City, I want to thank Lynne for her many years of dedicated service to the City of Palo Alto, including the last five years as Police Chief," stated Keene. "I wish her all the best in the future as she moves into the next phase of her life."

As Police Chief, Johnson has overseen an annual department budget of $28 million and 170 professional and sworn staff members. Burns joined the Police Department in 1982, and since 2007 he has served as the Assistant Chief.