Avondale creates new leadership roles for public safety to address city growth
PHOENIX – The city of Avondale announced Tuesday that Police Chief Dale Nannenga will be appointed as public safety chief, part of new leadership roles created to better address the needs of its growing community.
The new position was created following action by the city council after an ordinance was amended in the city code as it relates to the administration of both Avondale’s police and fire departments.
“We’ve had several discussions over the past several months about opportunities here in the city because we are a fast-growing community,” Nannenga told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Thursday.
That growth resulted in the construction of a new fire station, as well as blueprints for an additional fire station and police substation being in the works, according to the city.
Nannenga in his new role hopes to serve as a bridge between both police officers and firefighters as he works closely with city management.
“We asked the question, is there a way to blend both the police world and the fire world because we both are heavily involved when it comes to public safety,” Nannenga said.
He described the new role as unique for the Valley but says other cities across the country have used this role before and had success.
Nannenga was hired by the city in 2004 and previously held the position of assistant chief for the operations division before he was appointed to chief of police in 2013.
His vacancy will be filled by Assistant Police Chief Cuauhtemoc “Memo” Espinoza, a long-time Avondale Police Department veteran who worked his way up the ranks.
Nannenga as the new public safety chief will oversee the police and fire departments, as well as supervise the new emergency management chief position.
The emergency management chief will report directly to Nannenga and be responsible for all city emergency management operations.