Updated: Feb. 13, 2017 at 11:10 a.m.
A former – and potentially future – faculty member was named the executive director of the DC Police Foundation last week.
Patrick Burke, a former professor in the College of Professional Studies, will take on the new position after resigning this month as U.S. Marshal for D.C., a position that oversees security for Supreme Court justices. He says he plans to involve the community in Metropolitan Police Department decisions, support MPD programs and develop youth interest in public safety.
The new U.S. presidential administration gave Burke the opportunity to return to his roots of working with the police department and to give back to the community, he said.
“This job’s the best of both worlds because it allows me to stay in touch with my MPD contacts and work with MPD to build community trust in them, and it also gives me a chance to make a difference in the lives of young people in our city,” he said.
The Federal City Council created the DC Police Foundation in 2000 to financially support MPD programs and connects citizens – especially children – to the police department, according to the foundation’s website.
Burke said he may teach at GW again after stopping teaching to become the U.S. Marshal for D.C. President Barack Obama nominated Burke as the U.S. Marshal for D.C. last year after he spent 27 years at MPD, including nine as an assistant chief.
As executive director, Burke said he hopes to create a program that promotes middle school students’ interest in public safety, with the hope that they will go through the cadet program after high school. MPD’s cadet program pays for two years at the District of Columbia Community College, so when students turn 20, they can become officers, he said.
Burke has taught undergraduate and graduate classes in CPS, including in the Homeland Security program and the Police and Security Studies program.
He said he has spoken to Jeff Delinski, CPS’s police and security studies program director, and may return to CPS if the school needs more faculty members.
“It’s great to be able to bring some of those real life situations rather than just academia to students who basically are hoping to become professionals in the relevant field as well,” he said.
Ali Eskandarian, the dean of CPS, said in an email that he expects Burke will lead the group with “enthusiasm and hope.”
“Director Burke has been an important advocate of educating the police force and has been generous with his intellectual energy and enthusiasm in developing security and safety programs that strengthen the capabilities of our law enforcement agencies,” he said.
As U.S. Marshal, Burke monitored the fugitive unit, warrant squad operations and security information of 145 federal judges, according to an MPD release.
Throughout his time at MPD, Burke was the first chief of the Homeland Security Bureau and an assistant chief, the principal coordinator and incident commander for the 2009 presidential inauguration, according to the CPS website.
Burke started teaching the media and public relations course at GW in the Police and Security Studies program in 2014, Delinski said.
“He seemed to be a natural fit in the classroom because he has so many experiences and such a strong background when it comes to education and work performance that he would be someone that we would want to be up in front of our classroom teaching police officers,” Delinski said.
He added that Burke’s biggest contribution to GW was his ability to share real-world experiences about MPD with students.
There are no positions open in the program for professors, but Delinski said CPS will consider Burke for the next opening.
Delinski, who has known Burke for seven years, said he worked with Burke when Delinski was the deputy chief for patrol operations for the Metro Transit Police and Burke was the assistant chief at MPD.
“Knowing what I know about Patrick Burke he’s very talented, very smart and he’s committed to the job he takes on, so he really is the true professional,” he said. “I don’t only wish him well. I know he’ll do well.”
This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported Delinksi’s title. He is the director for the police and security studies program, not the homeland security program. We regret this error.