The voice of the Burbank Police Department is changing.
Sgt. Bruce Speirs took over as the agency’s public information
officer last week and wants to make sure the department is looked
upon as a community resource.
“In the old days, if it wasn’t in the vehicle code or the penal
code, it wasn’t considered a police problem,” Speirs said. “That’s an
Speirs replaced Lt. John Dilibert, who was promoted and serves as
one of the department’s watch commanders, overseeing traffic
In addition to spending six years as a helicopter pilot, Speirs
has worked as a training officer and in the patrol bureau, which
coordinates officers in the field, during his 28-year career with the
One of Speirs’ biggest concerns about his new post is making sure
the department does everything it can to help citizens in need, even
if it means referring them to other departments within the city.
“We always get the phone calls, but we need to deliver options to
people who may not be facing a straight law-enforcement problem,” he
As public information officer, Speirs is responsible for relaying
information from detectives about investigations to the public, as
well as speaking on behalf of the department to the media. He also
coordinates certain events between the department and other
organizations in the community.
A lifelong Burbank resident, the 47-year-old said he wants to
maintain the positive relationship between the department and the
community. He said part of continuing that trust is keeping the
public informed about what’s going on inside the department.
“Other than the police chief, this is really the only other outlet
for the voice of the department,” he said.
Speirs’ strong ties to the community are what Dilibert said will
make him an excellent public information officer.
“He understands what the citizens are dealing with because he
lives in town,” Dilibert said. “He knows who to go to in order to get
The police call-in show that Dilibert has hosted will continue,
with Dilibert, Speirs, Community Service Officer Vee Jones and others
sharing hosting duties.