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On Friday Nov, 12, Village Manager Josué Salmerón appointed Sgt. Paige Burge (left) as acting chief of Yellow Springs Police Department. Burge succeeds Brian Carlson (right) after his 12 years of service with YSPD, five as chief. (Photo by Matt Minde)

Sgt. Paige Burge named acting chief of YSPD

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Village Manager Josué Salmerón has named recently promoted Sgt. Paige Burge as acting chief of the Yellow Springs Police Department until a new full-time chief is appointed. 

The appointment occurred on Chief Brian Carlson’s last day Friday, Nov. 12. Carlson announced his resignation plans in August. 

Burge has been with YSPD since 2019, when she joined as a foot patrol officer. She was promoted to sergeant in August after the departure of Naomi Watson. Hailing from Fairborn, Burge will be YSPD’s first female and LGBTQ+ chief. Prior to her service with YSPD, Burge worked in the private sector in asset protection for 10 years. 

In a press release issued Friday afternoon, Salmerón said Burge has “demonstrated an exemplary work ethic, a commitment to community engagement, and responsive and engaged leadership, as both patrol officer and sergeant.”

When reached by phone, Salmerón said Burge will be sworn in as interim chief at Village Council’s regular meeting on Monday, Nov. 15. He said naming an acting chief for the weekend will ensure continuity in the level of service YSPD provides to villagers. However, Salmerón said the Village is continuing its search for a permanent replacement as full-time chief. 

“With an acting chief, there will be less pressure on the selection committee to make a quick decision,” Salmerón said. “I’m looking for someone who is mindful of the culture of Yellow Springs and can engage with the different groups within the community.”

Salmerón said a knowledge of the community and a willingness to create a police department that aligns with Village values are just two qualities that the search committee is looking for in Carlson’s replacement. 

Carlson was with YSPD for 12 years, with five of those years serving as chief. Under his tenure the police department underwent many changes, including the addition of a full-time social worker, increased bike and foot patrols and implicit bias training for officers. 

Reflecting on the process of selecting a new, permanent chief, Salmerón said that he wants to make sure the candidates are ready to fill Carlson’s shoes. 

“I don’t want to repeat the mistakes of the past, when the interviewee looks good on paper but is not a good fit here,” he said. “I want to avoid that because we have done so much work to change the culture of our police department.” 

“If it means taking our time, we’ll do that,” Salmerón said.


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2 Responses to “Sgt. Paige Burge named acting chief of YSPD”

  1. Pink Happiness says:

    I think hiring an officer from the LGBTQ+ community is about as community oriented as you can get and also representing more women. One doesn’t have to have lived in YS for a long period of time in order to be a perfect “fit”. Officer Meiser is a very nice person, however, he is not from yellow springs, I believe he came from a western state before moving to YS, I’m thinking Washington, Oregon, you get the picture. Give this new person a chance. Isn’t that what the concept of living in yellowsprings is all about? Originally anyway. Yellow springs has changed so much that I don’t recognize it so much anymore. And no it is NOT a “hippie town ” but founded by black Americans ♥

  2. Holly fleur says:

    One could start by not placing interim chiefs in place that have limited experience . How about Meiser . He seems like a more community orientated police chief and he has been on the force for a longer period of time . I think hiring officers outside of the village often gets officers that don’t understand the fabric of the unique yellow springs community . Thank you

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