Burlington’s municipal leaders took a short pause from business as usual on Thursday to formally recognize the recent elevation of Alan Balog as the city’s new chief of police.
A Burlington native who had previously served as an assistant chief with the city’s police department, Balog officially took over the helm with little fanfare when his predecessor Brian Long retired earlier this month. It wasn’t until Thursday, however, that Balog had the opportunity to make his public debut with a ceremonial oath of office at Burlington’s Paramount Theater.
This half-hour event ultimately drew a sizeable crowd that included friends, family, and professional associates of the city’s newly-minted chief of police.
Among the dignitaries who attended the ceremony were members of Burlington’s city council, several county commissioners, two state representatives, and delegates from various other law enforcement agencies.
The audience was also jammed packed with retired criminal justice officials. Although Long wasn’t present due to a “well deserved” family vacation, six of Burlington’s other former police chiefs were in attendance that afternoon – as was the new police chief’s father Steve Balog, who had once served as Alamance County’s district attorney and later as a superior court judge.
The honor of administering Balog’s oath of office fell to another Burlington native – Brad Allen, a one-time prosecutor under Steve Balog who currently serves as Alamance County’s chief district court judge.
The newly-sworn chief confirmed his own commitment to the community when he briefly commandeered the podium immediately after his oath. In his laconic remarks, Balog pledged to maintain the police department’s high standards in recruitment and training. He also promised to use his office to pursue law breakers who make life difficult for the rest of Burlington’s residents.
“We will continue to fight crime,” he declared. “We will identify those responsible for violence and crime in the community, and we will bring them to justice.”
Balog’s devotion to the community was also acknowledged by city manager Craig Honeycutt, who had tapped the then-assistant police chief for the department’s top spot just over a month ago.
“He is Burlington born and Burlington bred,” Honeycutt said. “His commitment is to the organization, to the citizens, and to the community.”