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Burnet interim police chief in place as city looks at applicants

New Burnet Police Department station

The Burnet Police Department is moving into its new station on U.S. 281 north of the firehouse. The city also recently hired Sid Fuller as the department's interim chief while it looks for a permanent replacement. Staff photo by Alex Copeland

With upward of 80 applicants for Burnet’s chief of police, no deadline set, and the hiring process in its infancy, the city of Burnet has tagged former North Texas police chief Sid Fuller to serve as the city’s interim chief.

Fuller assumed the role Monday, Aug. 17. He previously served as the Farmer’s Branch police chief from 2006 to 2016. Before that, he was with the Irving Police Department for 23 years in various positions.

“We’re probably going to hold off a little bit and allow the interim chief some more time to serve as interim before we move on with the hiring process,” Burnet City Manager David Vaughn said. “We’re going to sit down and look at applications here in the next couple of days and then make a decision as to whether we’re going to move forward with this process or put it on temporary hold.”

Fuller graduated from Tarleton State University in 1983 with a degree in marketing and the University of Texas at Arlington in 1997 with a master’s degree in criminal justice. He is currently an adjunct instructor of criminal justice at Tarleton State and a law enforcement consultant.

“His references were stellar,” Vaughn said. “He’s a wonderful chief and administrator. So far, he’s just been getting his feet wet, getting to know everybody and the lay of the land, but he’s been doing a great job.”

In March, Burnet Police Chief Paul Nelson retired after 23 years with the department. 

Vaughn previously offered the position to former Cedar Park Police Chief Sean Mannix. However, he withdrew from the post following protests over his hiring due to his involvement in the 2014 wrongful conviction of Leander student Greg Kelley.

Kelley was wrongfully convicted of the sexual assault of a child in 2014, a conviction that was overturned in November 2019. Kelley is suing the city of Cedar Park, Mannix, and former Cedar Park police Detective Christopher Dailey over what the lawsuit deemed a “fundamentally flawed” case.

Meanwhile, the Burnet Police Department is preparing to move into its new station on U.S. 281 near the fire department in the coming days. The move had been delayed in part due to a lack of furniture for the building. 

“It’s one of those things where you’ve just got to go,” Vaughn said. “If we have to be in there with temporary desks and plastic tables, we’ll do that in the meantime. Unfortunately, all the furniture production was on hold due to COVID, so we’re still waiting to get all the furniture and desks to get in.” 

1 thought on “Burnet interim police chief in place as city looks at applicants

  1. This is such a vital hire for the city that public input is not only necessary but vital. Hopefully, the city will look beyond recommendations and examine the applicant’s objective results, their previous impact through sound programs on their former community and their skill set. Look forward to seeing a professional profile the city through public comment develops and publishes to insure it matches the community’s needs and expanding challenges.

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