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Tempe city manager: Police chief resignation result of monthslong talks

(Facebook Photo/ Tempe Police)

PHOENIX – Tempe Police Chief Sylvia Moir submitted her resignation following months of conversation about police reform in the city, according to Tempe City Manager Andrew Ching.

“I’m appreciative of her service,” Ching told KTAR News 92.3 FM. “I think she’s done some really good work here as police chief, but I feel like it’s time to move in another direction.

“I feel like new leadership is needed to do a lot of the things that need to be done in the next weeks, months and even years with policing in Tempe.”

Ching said Moir’s resignation came following a series of conversations around the need to resurrect the structure of the city when it comes to race, policing in America, social justice, systemic racism and other issues.

There wasn’t a specific conversation that led to the resignation, according to Ching, but with national conversations around systemic racism and issues with policing, it was understood that the city was going to make those issues a focus in the months to come.

“I just felt like, given where we are and given where we need to go, it was appropriate to start to think about what might be the best posture we’d be in from a leadership standpoint and that’s why we moved in this direction,” Ching said.

He also noted that the city is looking for somebody whose top goal is to bring the city’s service up to the level that it should be in the 21st century.

“I’m looking for somebody who can simultaneously be a force for stability and leadership, but also change agent, someone who can look at the department with the best interests of the men and women of the Tempe Police Department in mind but also and very importantly, the best interests of our residents in our community.”

Ching said they will be announcing an interim police chief in the coming weeks, and Moir will help with the transition to new leadership.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ali Vetnar contributed to this report.

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