People: Chiefs Advisory Board

The Center for Policing Equity is fortunate to benefit from the wisdom of law enforcement executives committed to the principles of equity and progress. The Chiefs Advisory Board was created to aid CPE researchers in negotiating intricate law enforcement issues. The CPE is honored to have the following Chiefs serve on the Chiefs Advisory Board:

Chief Chris Burbank, Salt Lake City Police Department

Chief Burbank has been with the Salt Lake City Police Department since 1991. Appointed to the position of Chief of Police in March 2006 he became the 45th Chief of the Department. During Chief Burbank’s tenure, Salt Lake City has received extensive attention for several high profile incidents.

Chief Burbank has been an outspoken opponent to the cross deputization of police officers as immigration enforcement agents. He has participated in several national conferences regarding the issue and spoke at US Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division’s 2009 Title VI Conference:  Celebrating the 45th Anniversary of the Legislation and Exploring Current Issues in Enforcement. Chief Burbank received special recognition from the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah for work in protecting immigrant civil rights in May 2009. Also in June of that year, he was recognized by the Latino Community Center for his dedication to community policing in building and maintaining a great foundation with the Latino community. Additionally, in 2009, Chief Burbank received the Vicki Cottrell Community Hero Award from the Utah National Alliance on Mental Illness of Utah for assistance to those individuals in the State of Utah suffering from mental illness.

In September 2008, Chief Burbank was invited by the Anti-Defamation League to visit Israel with a delegation of Police Executives from the United States. The trip was an opportunity to interact and learn firsthand from the Israelis regarding their extensive experience dealing with terrorism and internal threats to their nation.

Chief Burbank was appointed a Venue Commander during the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games. Responsible for planning, organizing and implementing security for the Downtown Olympic Square, employing over one-thousand federal, state and local law enforcement officers and troops from the Utah National Guard. Chief Burbank also served as the liaison with the U.S. Secret Service during the Olympic Games. He was recognized by Director Brian Stafford, United States Secret Service, for outstanding cooperation in support of their protective mission, by Governor Michael Leavitt, State of Utah, for contribution to the law enforcement volunteer program and by Major General Brian L. Tarbet, Adjutant General Utah National Guard, for exceptional meritorious service in support of the games.

Chief Burbank has a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from the University of Utah. And is a graduate of the FBI’s National Executive Institute, Class XXX. Prior to his service in the Police Department, he was a professional squash player achieving a number 38 world ranking in the World Professional Squash Association. He is married and has three children.


Chief Robert Davis (Retired), San Jose Police Department

Chief Robert Davis has strong roots in the San Jose community, graduating from south San Jose’s Dartmouth Junior High School and Branham High School. Chief Davis completed volunteer service in Argentina for his church from 1977-1979, where he honed his Spanish speaking skills. He graduated from San Jose State University with a B.A. Degree in English with Honors, graduated summa cum laude from Golden Gate University with a Masters of Public Administration Degree, and is a graduate of Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) National Academy and the FBI’s National Executive Institute Program. Chief Davis currently serves as President of the Major Cities Chiefs’ Association.

Chief Davis has been a San Jose Police Officer since 1980. He has spent over nine years in the Patrol Division in varying capacities, along with distinguishing himself in the following assignments. As an officer, he served in the Field Training Program and as a Police Academy Training Officer. As a Sergeant, he was assigned to the Fraud/Burglary, Night Detective, and Internal Affairs Units, as well as the Airport Division. While a Lieutenant, he was the Commander of the Gang Investigation Unit for over three years. As a Captain, Chief Davis served in the Bureau of Technical Services, where he was instrumental in implementing the new Automated Information System and the nation’s first Voluntary Racial Profiling Study. As a Deputy Chief, he commanded the Bureau of Investigations and its 256 detectives and support personnel.

Training has been a focus of Chief Davis’ throughout his career. Since 1987, he has been an instructor at the Evergreen Valley College Police Academy, where he has mentored thousands of Police Recruits. Additionally, from 1993 to present Chief Davis has been a certified Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) Commission Master Instructor and has taught a wide variety of courses to law enforcement professionals throughout the state.

Over the last few years, Chief Davis has traveled to Honduras, El Salvador, Venezuela and most recently to Guatemala and Nicaragua (September 2009) on behalf of the State Department to provide training concerning anti-gang and community policing strategies. Chief Davis currently serves as a Board Member for several non-profit community groups, including the Board of the YWCA of Silicon Valley, the Advisory Committee for Project Cornerstone, the Boy Scouts of Santa Clara County as well as the San Jose/Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Chief Robert Davis retired in October 2010.


Chief Charles McClelland, Houston Police Department

Charles McClelland was sworn in as Chief of the Houston Police Department on April 14, 2010. He has served 33 years at the Houston Police Department, joining the department as a patrol officer in 1977 and rising through ranks to his current position as chief. His management experience has touched virtually every aspect of law enforcement throughout his career with the Houston Police Department.


His duties include managing an annual budget of more than $660 million dollars with a staff of 5400 sworn officers and more than 1600 civilian employees. Chief McClelland is a proponent of community-based policing and enhanced crime reduction strategies through technology.

Chief McClelland holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminology and a Master of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Houston. He is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigations National Academy and has received numerous awards and commendations. Chief McClelland was born in Center, Texas. He has two daughters, Ashley and Brittany.