Phoenix officer accused of threatening Mayor Gallego leaves department

Feb 1, 2021, 7:06 PM | Updated: 7:06 pm
Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, right, addresses the audience as Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams, le...

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, right, addresses the audience as Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams, left, goes through notes at a community meeting, Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — The veteran Phoenix police officer accused of threatening to shoot Mayor Kate Gallego in October has retired from the department, officials said Monday.

Phoenix PD completed an internal investigation into Officer Steven Poulos’ alleged statements and found that he violated department policy.

Before a meeting to discuss the findings could be conducted, Poulos handed in a retirement notice, which eliminates the department’s disciplinary measures.

“The statements made by Mr. Poulos during a squad meeting do not reflect the high standards expected of members of Phoenix Police Department,” Police Chief Jeri Williams said in a press release. “I have thousands of officers doing amazing work on behalf of the people of Phoenix each day.

“They act with professionalism and respect. When they don’t, they will be held accountable. I expect more and the people of this great city deserve more.”

In January, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office said they would not be filing criminal charges against Poulos.

The Tempe Police Department conducted a criminal investigation of the incident, and Phoenix’s Professional Standards Bureau launched an internal probe.

Both of their findings will be provided to the Arizona Peace Officers Standards and Training Board, according to the release. The board ascertains whether a person is certified to work as a police officer in Arizona.

According to ABC15, which obtained the Tempe police report, Poulos made the threat in in a briefing room at the Black Mountain Police Precinct.

Poulos allegedly said: “If the mayor defunds the police, I’m going to shoot her” and “That’s a promise,” according to the TV station.

Authorities announced that the threat was being investigated on Oct. 27. Poulos, who wasn’t publicly identified at the time, was assigned to home duty during the investigation.

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Phoenix officer accused of threatening Mayor Gallego leaves department