Musical chairs in Montpelier

ACCD secretary Schirling prepares for a new role: commissioner of public safety

PUTNEY — Last week, Gov. Phil Scott appointed Michael Schirling as commissioner of public safety. The now-lame-duck secretary of commerce and community development will take over the department in early September.

While visiting Putney on Aug. 14, Schirling commented on the change.

“This job has been a lot of fun,” he said.

Schirling, who has a background in public safety, said he looks forward to bringing the perspective of economic and community development to his new department.

He looks forward to conversations that will help people look through a community-development lens and see law-enforcement issues such as opiates, modernizing the justice system, and how the state delivers emergency services.

He said he appreciates the work of his team at ACCD and looks forward to joining the Department of Public Safety, which he described as “being at the top of its game.”

Schirling will fill the vacancy left by Thomas D. Anderson, who resigned in July, the Scott administration said in a press release.

Schirling served in the Burlington Police Department for 25 years, including seven years as Burlington's chief of police, and “was committed to innovation, collaboration and community engagement,” according to the news release.

He also led efforts to enhance technology platforms and received recognition from the International Association of Chiefs of Police for his work on civil rights. He has also received awards for excellence in victim service and community policing.

He has also worked as a contractor, conducting training for the U.S. State Department's Antiterrorism Assistance Program Cyber Division.

Lindsay Kurrle will replace Schirling as ACCD secretary, moving to her new post from the Department of Labor.

Schirling said he looks forward to how Kurrle will use her DOL experience to confront Vermont's economic-development and workforce issues.

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