Mike Albanese was officially sworn in as interim Chief of Police for the City of Burbank at the City Council meeting held on Tuesday, July 13.
“Known for his professionalism, strong leadership, and interpersonal skills, Mike Albanese has been pivotal in helping the Burbank Police Department advance its culture of respect, integrity, and excellence,” Burbank City Manager Justin Hess said as he introduced Albanese. “I am confident that Mike Albanese will excel in his new role, and I am honored to see him sworn in as interim Chief today.”
Hess likewise cited the Burbank Mental Health Evaluation Team, body-worn cameras, and a stronger unity between BPD and Burbank community members as some of Albanese’s greatest contributions to the department thus far.
While the Burbank City Clerk traditionally performs the function of swearing-in police personnel, Albanese requested to be sworn in by Judge Frank M. Tavelman. Tavelman has connections to Burbank through his work in BPD Officer Matthew Pavelka’s murder trial, in which he presented and got a plea as he served as lead DA. In addition, Tavelman currently serves as Superior Judge of the Burbank Courthouse.
Albanese introduced his family members who were present at the meeting before thanking all members of the Burbank City Council, City Manager Justin Hess, Assistant City Manager Judie Wilke, and the Burbank Police Department.
“I am so proud to be associated with [the BPD],” Albanese said. “I can’t tell you how proud I am of them, especially this last year and a half. I look forward to working alongside them moving forward…[and] I can’t say enough about the department.”
Following 37 years working for the Los Angeles Police Department, Albanese Joined the BPD in 2010 under Chief Scott LaChasse’s leadership and progressed to the position of Deputy Chief in 2015. LaChasse, who retired from the position of Police Chief this week, was present at the meeting as he separately received the 2021 Rotary Club of Burbank Noon Lifetime Achievement Award.
“I am eternally grateful for [LaChasse] reaching out to me during this rebuilding process…because today we are in a really, really good place, not only as an organization but with the community,” Albanese said.
Each Burbank City Council member expressed their gratitude to LaChasse for his years of service to the BPD and welcomed Albanese in his new role. Burbank Mayor Bob Frutos, who previously worked for the LAPD for over 25 years, shared memories of mentorship from Albanese while expressing his optimism for the future of the BPD as Albanese’s role expands.
“We’re very lucky and privileged to have [Albanese] continue to lead this great department…as we’re going to this new… evolution of policing,” Frutos said.