First published in the Jan. 1 print issue of the Burbank Leader.
Michael Albanese, Burbank’s interim police chief, was selected by City Manager Justin Hess to become the permanent chief this week.
Albanese was appointed as the interim chief in July 2021, after Chief Scott LaChasse retired. Since then, according to the city, he has implemented several initiatives such as promoting diversity within the department via recruitment and hiring practices, creating a succession plan, implementing new traffic strategies to combat speeding and racing vehicles, establishing the biennial survey in both Armenian and Spanish for the first time, and meeting individually with sworn and non-sworn staff to develop ideas to improve communication and collaboration throughout the department.
Additionally, the city said Albanese has met with community members to garner feedback regarding how the police department can improve police services.
“It’s a privilege to serve a dynamic and diverse city like Burbank,” Albanese said in a news release. “I am deeply grateful to the Burbank community for entrusting me with this appointment as the city’s chief of police.
“I am proud of the men and women who work for our police department and serve our community every day. It’s our mission that the department continues to be a collaborative partner in the community, preserve the safety of our city and lead the organization into a direction that is representative of Burbank’s needs.”
Albanese is a tenured law enforcement professional who began working for the Burbank Police Department in 2010 as the patrol captain. In that assignment, Albanese provided managerial oversight of all the department’s uniformed operations and the delivery of police services. In July of 2015, Albanese was appointed to the department’s deputy chief position. As the deputy chief, Albanese oversaw the development and implementation of the department’s Mental Health Evaluation Team, acquisition of body-worn and in-car camera systems, and the department’s Strategic Plan.
Albanese can regularly be seen at many functions and outreach programs in the community. Additionally, Albanese has been a member of the Burbank Family Service Agency’s Board of Directors for the past eight years and is currently the president of the panel.
“Chief Albanese has provided tremendous leadership for the Burbank Police Department and brings an unwavering commitment of safety, service and dedication to our community,” Hess said. “He’s a seasoned officer and a forward thinker, strategizing the future succession of the department’s leadership and determined to further diversify his team. He has proven to be the most qualified to maintain the department’s gold-standard practices and lead them into a successful future.”