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Interim City of Phoenix Police Chief to Start September 12

By on September 6, 2022 0 349Views

The contract to hire Michael Sullivan as the Interim Phoenix Police Chief has been approved and signed, the last step before bringing the 27-year veteran of law enforcement to his new role in Phoenix.

The contract terms were approved by unanimous vote of the Phoenix City Council on Wednesday and then finalized by Sullivan and the City. Sullivan’s employment with the city begins on September 12. The contract has an initial one-year term that may be extended up to 24 months.

“I want to thank City Manager Jeff Barton for this opportunity to work with the women and men of the Phoenix Police Department and the communities which make up the fabric of Phoenix,” said Chief Sullivan. “I also want to thank Mayor Gallego and the City Council for approving my employment agreement. This is an important time for the City and the Phoenix Police Department.”

Chief Sullivan’s transition into the Phoenix Police Department will include meetings with key stakeholders, advisory boards and community groups, members of the department, labor leaders and the media.

“In the coming weeks, I look forward to spending a lot of time observing and listening. My focus will be on reducing and preventing violent crime, building trusting relationships with the members of the police department, city officials, and community members, and working to continue the reform work already underway,” said Sullivan.

“Chief Sullivan is a leader with a history as a reformer who evaluates best practices and brings positive community change,” said City Manager Jeff Barton. “His decades of experience, his commitment to working with the community and his law enforcement expertise will be a benefit to the work we have ahead of us.”

As interim Chief, Sullivan will lead Phoenix Police through the currently open Department of Justice (DOJ) civil pattern or practice investigation. Sullivan has spent the last 3 years as Deputy Commissioner for the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) where he led police reform efforts including bringing the agency into compliance mandates from a Federal Consent Decree based on a 2017 DOJ investigation into BPD. Sullivan also worked for the Louisville Metro Police Department, leaving in 2019 prior to the Breonna Taylor incident which prompted the currently open DOJ investigation of that department. You can read more about his experience, including his Bachelor’s, Master’s and other ongoing law enforcement educational pursuits.

During the term of this interim assignment, the City of Phoenix will conduct a nationwide search for a permanent Police Chief, considering all internal and external candidates. The City Manager has committed to a robust community engagement process during the selection process, including input from the community, elected officials, department employees and labor groups.