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Former Phoenix police chief Joe Yahner to head GCU public safety force

(AP Photos)

PHOENIX — Former Phoenix police chief Joe Yahner has been hired by Grand Canyon University as director of public safety, the university announced in a press release on Friday.

Yahner. who spent more than 30 years in the Phoenix Police Department and two years as chief, will now oversee the university’s 170-member public safety force.

He will start in the position on May 30.

In the press release, Yahner said he wants to “provide a holistic team approach” and “create an environment that is as safe as possible for students, faculty and staff.”

“As a native of Phoenix, this is a great opportunity for me to continue to work in the city that I love,” he continued. “I have always been impressed with GCU as an organization because of its commitment to the community, its willingness to give back and the steps it has taken to improve the quality of life on the west side of Phoenix.”

Brian Mueller, president of Grand Canyon University, said the move “further emphasizes [the university’s] commitment to create the safest environment possible for our students, faculty and staff as we continue to grow.”

Yahner joined the Phoenix Police Department in 1985 and retired in 2016. The current Phoenix chief is Jeri Williams, the first female chief in the city’s history.

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