Commissioner Michael Schirling


Michael Schirling is the Commissioner of Public Safety for the State of Vermont. He retired June 30, 2015 as the Chief of Police of the Burlington Police Department in Vermont, a position he held since 2008. The Department consists of approximately 100 sworn officers, serving a population of 42,000 and a greater metropolitan area of approximately 150,000. Prior to becoming chief, he served in a variety of roles including Deputy Chief supervising the Administrative/Support Services Bureau encompassing a number of divisions including Emergency Management/Homeland Security, Detectives/Investigations, and Communications. He was a Lieutenant responsible for coordinating policing services for the City’s Old North End District; a former Director of and Investigator at the Chittenden Unit for Special Investigations – a multi-agency task force responsible for sex crimes and major child abuse investigation for Vermont’s largest County; and a co-founder and former Task Force Commander of the VT Internet Crimes and Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces.

A native of Burlington, Schirling spent 26 years with the Burlington Police Department, starting at age 19 as an Auxiliary Police Officer.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and a Master’s Degree in Education, both from the University of Vermont, and he has served as an Adjunct Professor in Computer Forensics at Champlain College in Burlington.

In 2005, he began contract work with the U.S. State Department’s Anti-Terrorism Assistance Program to conduct overseas training and consulting for foreign governments in Internet investigations and the design, operation and supervision of computer forensic laboratories. He has spoken and lectured throughout the United States for a host of organizations, including extensive work with the National District Attorney’s Association on topics ranging from Computer Facilitated Crime to Crimes Against Children and Violence Against Women issues.

He is the co-founder of, a law enforcement leadership council on violence against women and gender based violence. He received the National Missing and Exploited Children’s Award from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in 2000.