TEMPE, Ariz. — One of the main focuses of the new Tempe police chief has been to engage with residents throughout the community.
Sylvia Moir has been on the job nearly five months, having previously served as the police chief of El Cerrito, California. Since taking the job in March, Moir has worked to introduce herself to Tempe residents by attending meetings and through one-on-one conversations.
“We engage in dialogue [and] we seek to understand the complexities of the various communities that we serve within our own community,” Moir said.
El Cerrito has a population of about 25,000, whereas Tempe has a population of roughly 175,000. Moir said even though there are challenges of patrolling a bigger town, it’s actually easier heading up a larger agency.
“There are more people to help tackle problems,” Moir said. “[There are] more approaches and experiences to bring to addressing issues.”
Moir is the first Tempe police chief hired from outside the department in nearly 50 years. She is also the first woman to lead the department.
“I think there’s more social permission, as a woman, to address problems creatively, perhaps with more compassion,” Moir said.
Moir said that though she has come to Tempe from outside the community, the city and the police department have been welcoming.