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Surprise picks Peoria Deputy Police Chief Benny Pina as next police chief

Benny Pina (Courtesy photo, Surprise Police Department)

PHOENIX — The city of Surprise has picked Peoria Deputy Police Chief Benny Pina to be its new police chief, the city announced Wednesday.

Prior to becoming Peoria’s deputy police chief in 2014, Pina served 25 years with the Phoenix Police Department and rose to the position of police commander, according to a press release.

He’s also served in various roles including patrol, investigations, special operations, SWAT, K-9, street and violent crime, crisis intervention, school resources and training.

“Chief Pina not only has a wealth of experience and strong leadership skills, he also understands the value of community connection and serving with professionalism, accountability and respect,” Mike Frazier, Surprise city manager, said in the release.

Interview panels made up of representatives from the community, public safety profession and city leadership were part of the selection process, according to the release.

Pina earned a Master of Education in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Arizona State University while also being a graduate of the Senior Management Institute for Policing.

He replaces former Police Chief Terry Young who was promoted to assistant city manager in January.

Assistant Police Chief Geoffrey Leggett served as the interim chief during the transition, according to the release.

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