• Last modified 460 days ago (Jan. 20, 2023)


Cops who quit city posts end up with county

Staff writer

Two veteran police officers who resigned municipal positions amid political turmoil will be back as officers — this time, for the county.

Longtime Peabody chief Bruce Burke, who retired in September, will start road duty duties Feb. 8 at the sheriff’s office.

Former Marion assistant chief Steven Janzen, whose last day Marion was Dec. 27, began duties today as a road deputy and detective.

Burke’s 23-year career in law enforcement began in April 1999 as a dispatcher. After 20 months, he became an officer.

Before he worked in law enforcement, he worked 20 years at a Newton flour mill.

His retirement as Peabody chief was triggered by remarks from then-mayor Tom Spencer that he “wanted druggies out of the city — legally or illegally.”

In domino fashion, officers Josh Wilson and Robert Bartlett resigned after Burke did. Officer Caitlin Brunner resigned in November to take a position with El Dorado police.

Burke said his intention never was to leave law enforcement, just to leave Peabody’s police department.

“I was going to find something,” he said. “I just retired that position. It was not my intent to retire completely.”

In the meantime, he’s been doing stuff at home that hasn’t been done in 15 years.

He asked the sheriff’s office about a part-time job and was offered a full-time job instead.

“For the most part,” he said, “I enjoy law enforcement and I never do the same thing twice in a row. I did miss the camaraderie with the other officers. I’m looking forward to getting back to work.”

Janzen, whose resignation came from concern over handling of complaints about now fired city administrator Mark Skiles, and deputy Aaron Christner, a six-year veteran, are being assigned as detectives, a newly created position.

The department also has hired former Peabody officer Bartlett for a part-time position.

Last modified Jan. 20, 2023