“Lt. Burton has been stellar in his service to Discovery Bay,” said CSD President Kevin Graves. “His quick wit is surpassed only by his quick response to our needs out here in East County. It has been a pleasure working with Mike. He will be missed by the citizens of Discovery Bay.”
Beginning July 1, Burton will become the assistant investigations division commander for field operations in Martinez. His primary duties will be to oversee the day-to-day running of the investigations division, which includes – among other things – homicide and domestic violence cases. He will also maintain the part-time role he has held for the past 13 years as SWAT commander for the Sheriff’s Office.
“Now I’ll be on call for a bunch of different things,” laughed Burton of his new position. “But this is a very good assignment and I was lucky to be chosen. The investigations people are the cream of the crop, really motivated, hard-working people. It’s a spot you have to earn and it’s going to be a new and challenging assignment.”
During his tenure in Discovery Bay, Burton has dealt with a variety of policing and crime issues, but one of his biggest contributions – and challenges – was his role in the implementation of the resident deputy program that brought two full-time officers and a crime-prevention specialist to the Discovery Bay beat, plus increased autonomy to the Delta community.
“Mike played such an important role in re-establishing the resident deputy program for Discovery Bay and deserves much of the credit for its success,” said Bob Mankin, chairman of the P-6 committee, an advisory body whose Discovery Bay contributors funded the police additions. “Mike has set the gold standard for law enforcement here, and I wish him the very best as he moves on to advance his career with the Sheriff’s Office. The community is indebted to Mike for his service. His replacement will have some very big shoes to fill.”
While Burton’s performance in Discovery Bay will stand on its own, for those who know him, it has been his subtle behind-the-scenes commitment, patience and tireless political correctness toward a community with a unique array of residents, issues and expectations that might well be his lasting legacy.
“While I consider this to be a promotion within my rank, I’m going to miss this place,” said Burton. “When I think back, I took over a command that people had a lot of negative feeling around, and now I’m leaving an assignment where I think I’ve earned their trust and they’ve earned mine. It’s been a great experience.”
Burton’s replacement will be Lt. Alan Johnson, the current Blackhawk chief of police, who will spend the next few weeks working closely with Burton as he prepares to hand over the reins.
“It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve the residents of East County and specifically Discovery Bay,” said Burton. “And I just want to say thank you to everyone. It’s been a very, very rewarding experience.”