New Phoenix police chief discusses transition and nationwide tension

Dec 5, 2016, 5:10 AM | Updated: Dec 6, 2016, 11:47 am
(Twitter Photo/@phoenixpolice)...
(Twitter Photo/@phoenixpolice)
(Twitter Photo/@phoenixpolice)

PHOENIX — Phoenix’s new police chief Jeri Williams is taking over the department at a tough time for the country.

Right now North and South Carolina are wrapping up separate controversial officer involved shootings, while several cops across country who have been shot recently may have been targeted.

“When something happens across the country, it does resonate here,” said Williams.

Local officers and communities feel the pain and angst here when these incidents happen.

“We do want our men and women to be safe in responding to calls for service,” she said. “And at the same time we want our community to trust us, and hope that those same type of incidents don’t happen to that magnitude here.”

So far Phoenix police has managed to mitigate similar protest and officer involved shootings incidents, despite it being one of the last things they want to be involved in.

“But it is a very real reality that there are people out there that want to hurt police officers and want to hurt our community members,” she said.

So far Phoenix police has done a great job in dealing with protests, Williams said.

“We were able to manage that and mitigate that very well,” she said. “It’s all about communication, conversation and allowing people to exercise their rights, while still keeping the community and them safe.”

Overall Phoenix’s first female police chief is settling in, and getting to work in her new position.

“The transition has been surreal,” said Williams. She added that she didn’t know and understand how welcoming the department and the community was going to be.

“They’re just excited that I’m here, and that’s such a great feeling,” she said.

As for any parting words of wisdom from former chief Joe Yahner?

“He actually said, ‘Call me if you need me,'” she said. “I think Joe did a great job of balancing the ships, steering the ship in the right direction, all I had to do is take the wheel and move it forward.”

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Twitter photo / @ArizonaDOT)...

Crash on I-17 sends 5 to hospital; freeway closed in north Phoenix

A vehicle collision on Interstate-17 southbound near Loop 101 and Bell Road hospitalized five people and led to a freeway closure Thursday.
24 hours ago
(Facebook photo/ Phoenix Police Department)...

Man arrested in Phoenix after traffic stop leads to discovery of 39,000 fentanyl pills

A driver was arrested last week after authorities discovered over 39,000 fentanyl pills and $15,000 in the car during a traffic stop.
24 hours ago
(ADOT Photo)...

ADOT opens 4-mile State Route 24 extension in far East Valley

The Arizona Department of Transportation opened a new four-mile stretch of State Route 24 in the East Valley on Thursday.
24 hours ago
(AP photos)...
Danny Shapiro

Maricopa County asks court to sanction Lake, Finchem over ‘demonstrably false’ election suit

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors is asking a court to sanction Kari Lake, Mark Finchem and their lawyers for filing an election lawsuit they say is frivolous.
24 hours ago
(Jan Brewer and Kari Lake/Facebook Photos)...

Former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer wants Lake to stop elections rhetoric, pivot to policy

Former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said Wednesday she wants Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake to stop her elections rhetoric and start focusing on policy issues ahead of November's general election.
24 hours ago
(KTAR News Photo)...

DPS says traffic stop suspect shot at troopers near I-17 in Phoenix

Arizona highway troopers exchanged gunfire in Phoenix with a suspect who initially refused to yield to a traffic stop, then took off on foot Wednesday night.
24 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
New Phoenix police chief discusses transition and nationwide tension