A police department can experience few greater tragedies, and a police chief can experience few greater challenges, than when an officer falls in the line of duty.
Tim Dorn, Gilbert’s interim chief for the last five months, just led the town’s “brotherhood of the badge” through one of the most trying times in department history. After Gilbert officials witnessed how the 280-employee agency stayed strong following last month’s death of officer Robert D. Targosz, they decided Dorn was the man for the permanent job.
Dorn was officially named police chief Tuesday by the Town Council’s unanimous vote.
“There isn’t a group of people I could be more proud of than the people in this department — they way pulled together to take care of each other, to take care of the family and to keep doing business,” Dorn, 49, said. “Our business didn’t stop during a difficult time for our department.”
Dorn is running the department at a crucial time for Gilbert, population 178,100. The town is not only booming, but its internal dynamics are about to undergo a massive shift: Loop 202 through central Gilbert is days from opening, bringing commerce to a town still caught between its change from agriculture to a bedroom community.
“We’ve tried to look forward,” said Dorn, who took over for the retired John Brewer on Dec. 16. “(It’s) not just taking care of business today, but how are we going to take care of business tomorrow and five years from now? (It’s) trying to keep us on that path of providing quality service through this high-growth period with a lot of new officers, and always looking for better ways to do things.”
Dorn’s salary will be $118,000.