Interim Tempe police chief gravitated towards policing to help youth
PHOENIX – Tempe’s interim police chief said he was inspired to get into the field of policing to help youth in the community.
“My passion for getting into policing was fueled by being around officers in the Phoenix Police Department,” interim Tempe Police Chief Jeff Glover told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Wednesday.
Glover said he worked with the parks and recreation department out of Maryvale for about five years after high school. He said interactions with officers and understanding their job duties made him realize how impactful of a career it could be for him.
“It made me want to gravitate into policing,” Glover said.
Glover, who will step into the role Oct.12, retired from the force in February after 20 years of service. He started his career as a Mesa patrol officer in 1998 and joined the Tempe force the next year.
Over the course of his career, his duties included four years as commander over the department’s Professional Standards Bureau, Organizational Services Division, Criminal/Special Investigations and SWAT, according to a press release.
He said the decision to take on the role of police chief was a no brainer, despite stepping into the position during a time when protests across the nation and locally call for police reform.
As he moves into his new role, Glover said that he hopes to set up a community-oriented policing style for the department.
“Community policing is a collaboration between your police officers and the community at large, being able to come together and talk through the concerns they have as to police action or policy, but it also provides them the outreach and that voice for them to express themselves because they empower us to do our job,” Glover said.
As of Wednesday, Glover has not spoken with Tempe police chief Sylvia Moir, who is resigning next month, but he plans to in the near future to discuss what changes have been made and what still needs to be done in the community.
He also wants to work towards creating a chief advisory board to have direct communication with the community and plans to meet with employees and key stakeholders to get an overall understanding of the key initiatives that have taken place.
“I believe that there is a lot of reform efforts that could be made in terms of significant changes within the organization,” Glover said. “We’re always an outstanding organization, but there’s always going to be a little more work to do.”
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ali Vetnar contributed to this report.