Burge appointed police chief in Yellow Springs

YELLOW SPRINGS — Paige Burge has been named chief of police of the Yellow Springs Police Department, the first woman to hold the office in the village.

Burge was named acting chief of police in November after former Police Chief Brian Carlson announced his resignation in August. She joined the department as a patrol officer in early 2019 and was promoted to sergeant in August 2021.

Burge also has 10 years of experience in the private sector, having served as district loss prevention investigator for Marmaxx, the parent company of TJ Maxx.

Village Manager Josue Salmeron recommended her for the position, and village council unanimously approved Burge’s appointment at her swearing-in Monday night.

“She gets it, in terms of what Yellow Springs is trying to achieve with regard to public safety,” said village council President Brian Housh.

The village conducted a nationwide, in-depth search for a new police chief, Housh said, adding that Burge stood out almost immediately.

“It became very clear she understood those goals, and appreciated ultimately where we’re going and where we want to be,” he said.

The police department has been working to implement community policing measures such as de-escalation, increasing social worker roles, establishing a citizen review board, and working to better relationships between officers and community members, Housh said.

During her career in Yellow Springs, Burge played a role in decreasing the number of citizen-police encounters for nonviolent offenses, according to her candidate profile. It says she has a vision to both decrease non-safety issue interactions and increase non-enforcement interactions with community members.

“A fundamental part of community policing is the interactions officers and citizens have when both of them engage as two community members working toward a common goal vs. two separate entities unaware of the other’s goals,” Burge wrote.

Burge “proudly identifies as a wife, daughter, pet parent, an Aunt, a woman, a member of the LGBTQA+ community, and an individual who recognizes that every interaction with this department matters, and that we must treat all people with the respect we afford our own family members,” the village said.

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