Interim Phoenix Police Chief Michael Sullivan details goals for department during tenure

Sep 14, 2022, 4:02 PM

PHOENIX — Interim Phoenix Police Chief Michael Sullivan has been on the job for three days, but he has goals on how he wants to run the force dealing with a Department of Justice investigation.

Sullivan, in an exclusive interview Wednesday with KTAR News‘ Mike Broomhead, believes reforming the department while continuing to fight crime aren’t mutually exclusive.

“I look forward to working with the team and making sure regardless of what DOJ finds in their investigation, to continue the reforms,” Sullivan said.

The DOJ investigation into potential civil rights violations and abuses of power by the police department is expected to be completed during Sullivan’s tenure.

Sullivan knows the investigation will be a main piece of his tenure, but wants to improve the entirety of one of the largest police departments in the nation.

That means improving community trust and, internally, boosting morale.

“We’re going to continue to work every single day to get better,” Sullivan said. “It’s truly what we need to work toward.”

The DOJ’s Civil Rights Division announced the investigation in August 2021.

Sullivan, who brings nearly 30 years of law enforcement experience with him to Phoenix, will likely lead the department for 1-2 years.

He was tapped to take over for Jeri Williams because of his DOJ experience.

“I’m in this role today because of my experience with the Department of Justice and consent decrees,” Sullivan said.

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Interim Phoenix Police Chief Michael Sullivan details goals for department during tenure