Incoming Tempe police chief discusses navigating start of his new position

Apr 20, 2023, 4:15 AM | Updated: 2:17 pm

(Twitter Photo/@ChiefKenMcCoy)...

(Twitter Photo/@ChiefKenMcCoy)

(Twitter Photo/@ChiefKenMcCoy)

PHOENIX — The new police chief for an East Valley city will step into his role in June, with hopes of bringing law enforcement and the community together throughout his time in the position.

Kenneth McCoy will start his position with the Tempe Police Department on June 5. He previously spent 27 years with the Anchorage Police Department as a former top official before he retired in January 2022.

“When I was with the police department, really, my philosophy was building a positive culture and building those relationships on trust and transparency with the community,” McCoy told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Evening News on Wednesday.

He intends to bring a similar philosophy to Arizona —  one that also incorporates inclusivity of those within the department and community.

“The first thing I’m going to do is listen. I’m going to need to meet with all of my officers and professional staff and to hear what’s working, what’s not working, what are the gaps, what do we need to be more effective?” McCoy said.

“I’m also going to have to look to ensure we have the right people in the right place, right seats, so that’s an important aspect for me with evaluating and meeting the members of the police department.”

For McCoy, connecting with and learning the concerns of business owners and citizens is equally as important as listening to the concerns of those within his department.

“Once I have that foundation, I can then start developing a strategy. But, again, me coming in and making immediate changes isn’t the answer. I need to take a moment and listen, and see what’s working and hear what the concerns are, and then together we can move forward.”

The Alaska native replaces Jeffrey Glover, who stepped down from the role to take over as the director of the Arizona Department of Public Safety in February after holding the position since 2020.

After McCoy retired from the Anchorage Police Department, he went on to be the chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer at Providence Alaska Medical Center.

“When I retired I was blessed to join Providence, which is an amazing organization in serving this role, and really, the work that I do at Providence is very similar to the work I did in law enforcement, and the work that I will continue to do, and that’s building an internal culture where everyone at the department feels welcomed and valued for their contributions,” McCoy said.

Three other finalists, which included interim Tempe police chief Josie Montenegro, were beat out for the position by McCoy.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Nick Sadowski contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

(AP Photo/Alberto Mariani, File)...

Associated Press

Former Arizona official who claimed election deniers made work ‘toxic’ gets $130K settlement

A former elections official for a rural Arizona county where leaders have embraced election conspiracy theories has received a $130,000 settlement over toxic work environment claims.

15 hours ago

The stretch of 12th Avenue between Washington and Jefferson streets at the Zone homeless encampment...

Kevin Stone

2nd block cleared out in Phoenix’s Zone homeless encampment

A second block at the Zone homeless encampment in downtown Phoenix was cleared Wednesday as enhanced cleanup operations continue.

15 hours ago

Booking photo for Melissa Larue, who was released from the hospital and taken to jail after getting...

Woman shot by Phoenix officers last week jailed after release from hospital

A woman shot by police officers in Phoenix last week has been released from the hospital and taken to jail, authorities said.

15 hours ago

(KTAR News Photo/Jason Veazey)...

Fire closes eastbound Loop 101 ramp to southbound State Route 51 in Phoenix

A fire closed the eastbound Loop 101 ramp to southbound State Route 51 in Phoenix on Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.

15 hours ago

A sign over the stage of the 2023 Scripps Natioanal Spelling Bee in suburban Washington, D.C....

Kevin Stone

Last Arizona contestant falls in 6th round of Scripps National Spelling Bee

Arizona’s last remaining contestant in the 2023 Scripps National Spelling Bee was eliminated in the sixth round Wednesday.

15 hours ago

File photo headshots of Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs and her new chief of staff, Chad Campbell...

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs names former House Democratic leader as chief of staff

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs announced Wednesday the former House Democratic Leader will step into the role as her new chief of staff.

15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Thank you to Al McCoy for 51 years as voice of the Phoenix Suns

Sanderson Ford wants to share its thanks to Al McCoy for the impact he made in the Valley for more than a half-decade.


Desert Institute for Spine Care

Spinal fusion surgery has come a long way, despite misconceptions

As Dr. Justin Field of the Desert Institute for Spine Care explained, “we've come a long way over the last couple of decades.”



Why drug-free weight loss still matters

Wanting to lose weight is a common goal for many people as they progress throughout life, but choosing between a holistic approach or to take medicine can be a tough decision.

Incoming Tempe police chief discusses navigating start of his new position