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ISP Chief PIO Dave Bursten retires after 36 years with the department, 41 years in law enforcement

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Posted at 1:54 PM, Jun 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-14 20:46:39-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Long-time spokesperson for the Indiana State Police, Capt. David Bursten retired Friday.

According to Indiana State Police, Bursten’s 41 year law enforcement career started in the late 1970s with service as a military police officer in the United States Army, and as a city police officer in Santa Monica, California. This June marked his 36th and final year with the Indiana State Police where his assignments included road patrol duties as a trooper, with future assignments to the security detail for the late Governor Robert D. Orr and service in the training division of the state police.

ISP said Bursten became a public information officer for ISP in 1995 as a trooper. He was promoted to sergeant in 1996 and to first sergeant in 1998 when he became responsible for supervising PIO officers across Indiana. He was promoted to captain in 2011 and became the chief public information officer for the Indiana State Police that year.

Indiana State Police issued a press release on Friday marking Bursten's last day. When asked about his service with the state police as the agencies chief PIO, David said, “The first thing I’ll tell you is I couldn’t have been successful without the support of my wife and son. Now specific to my duties, all I did was try to serve as a sounding board and mentor to the 13 field PIO’s assigned to each state police post. The field PIO’s are the face of the Indiana State Police in their local communities and have done — and will continue to do — an excellent job informing the community about meaningful activities of the state police.”

Bursten continued, “The key point I always stressed was the importance of sharing with media and the public all the information for which they have the legal right to know, while understanding that doesn’t necessarily mean telling media everything they want to know.”

Bursten concluded, “It’s hard to sum up a 36 year career in a couple of sentences. That said, I can tell you I’ve been overwhelmed and humbled by the number of people within the state police, and so many from other police agencies, as well as from outside law enforcement, who have thanked me for my service and shared personal stories of how I impacted their lives in a positive manner. It’s so true, when you love what you do, it doesn’t seem like work. I had a great career with the state police and now I’m setting my sites on how I can be of service to the Indiana Department of Correction.”

Bursten's service to the State of Indiana will continue with the Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC) where he will serve as the chief communications officer.