Mesa police chief quits to take over Arizona Department of Public Safety

Jan 27, 2015, 2:24 PM | Updated: 3:00 pm

PHOENIX — Mesa Police Chief Frank Milstead informed his officers Tuesday he would be resigning to take over as the head of the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

Milstead said he accepted an offer from Gov. Doug Ducey to take over the department.

“Chief Milstead has led a long, dedicated and successful career improving the safety of our communities while creating efficiencies in his departments,” Ducey said in a release.

Milstead had been the head of Mesa’s police force for five years. The city said it would select an interim chief from with its ranks.

During Milstead’s tenure, Mesa was ranked as the third-safest city in the United States. At the time, he said community outreach was the key to keeping citizens safe.

“It’s really about getting police officers out of their cars, into the neighborhoods and connecting with the citizens,” he said.

Milstead joined the Phoenix Police Department in 1985, holding various leadership positions including commander, lieutenant and sergeant in the homeland defense, major offender and traffic bureaus.

Milstead’s father, Ralph, also led DPS. He stepped down in 1990.

Cronkite News’ Michael Mashburn and the Associated Press contributed to this story.

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Mesa police chief quits to take over Arizona Department of Public Safety