Finding next Phoenix police chief shouldn’t be political, Sheriff Penzone says

May 4, 2022, 3:00 PM
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)

PHOENIX – Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone said decision-makers for the city of Phoenix face a challenge now that they must replace Police Chief Jeri Williams.

“Politics gets far too involved in policing,” Penzone told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Wednesday.

“So when those responsible to make this decision go through the process, I just hope they’re objective and pragmatic and that it is not about political elements, it’s not about some kind of trying to send the ‘right’ message to a faction of people.”

Williams abruptly announced her retirement Tuesday, to go into effect in the summer.

The first female chief in the history of the Phoenix Police Department has been with the force for nearly 25 years and in charge for almost six years.

City Manager Jeff Barton said the search for an interim chief would be conducted externally and that a nationwide search for a permanent successor would be held later.

“It’s challenging because what you don’t want to do is … if you go outside and the person is not either familiar [with] or a good fit for the personality of our community, the personality of the Phoenix Police Department … it could be detrimental,” Penzone said.

“But if you stay inside, is it too familiar where you can’t get the changes done that you need.”

It’s critical, Penzone said, for the replacements to have good working relationships with the other law enforcement agencies in the Valley.

“You can drive 3 miles and go through four jurisdictions, so you have to have a healthy working relationship. If we lack that, then we are going to struggle in all aspects of what we’re trying to do for our communities,” he said.

Penzone, who has been friends with Williams since their rookie officer days, said choosing a candidate was about replacing “a senior police chief with someone who has the competency and the commitment to this community to just move everything forward. You can’t make it personal or partisan.”

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Pexels Photo)...

Phoenix man gets 25 years in prison for sexual abuse of a child

A Phoenix man last week was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the sexual abuse of a child.
20 hours ago
Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey speaks at an event touting a new universal school voucher progra...
Associated Press

Gov. Doug Ducey takes victory lap over Arizona school voucher plan

Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and backers of universal school vouchers took a victory lap Tuesday over legislation the Republican-controlled Legislature enacted in June.
20 hours ago
(Twitter Photo/@DougDucey)...

Here’s why a portion of Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s new border wall was temporarily knocked over

Within days of announcing action to fill in border wall gaps near Yuma, a portion of Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey's new barrier was temporarily knocked over Monday morning. Here's the explanation from the governor's office.
20 hours ago
(Twitter Photo/@MaricopaVote)...
Kevin Stone

3-vote margin triggers automatic recount in Maricopa County primary race

One race in the Maricopa County’s recent primary election was so close that it triggered an automatic recount under state law.
20 hours ago
(Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Newsmakers)...
Associated Press

Battles rage in Arizona courts over 3 voter initiatives

Proponents of three voter initiatives who each turned in hundreds of thousands of signatures last month to qualify them for the November ballot are trying to beat back legal challenges that could prevent them from going before voters.
20 hours ago
Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake said Arizona needs “to have a comprehensive plan” fo...
Kevin Stone

Kari Lake, Arizona’s GOP nominee for governor, calls water supply ‘maybe the top issue’

With Arizona facing reduced access to Colorado River water, GOP gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake said securing the state’s supply is “maybe the top issue."
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
Sanderson Ford

Don’t let rising fuel prices stop you from traveling Arizona this summer

There's no better time to get out on the open road and see what the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. But if the cost of gas is putting a cloud over your summer vacation plans, let Sanderson Ford help with their wide-range selection of electric vehicles.

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
Finding next Phoenix police chief shouldn’t be political, Sheriff Penzone says