There have been quite a few scandals coming from the Phoenix Police Department in the past few years but the new chief of police, Daniel Garcia, is doing all he can to give the department a positive image.
Garcia has a vision for the best police department in the nation, led by five principals; nurture democracy, justice, spirit of service, fundamental fairness and protect from harm.
These five principals are something Garcia came up with when he was applying for his job as chief and it’s something he’s now trying to share with as many people as he can. He calls it policing with a purpose.
Garcia made a stop at the Pecos Community Center on Thursday to share his vision with residents. Sgt. Scott McCauley of the South Mountain Precinct, said in over 15 years working for the department he’d never heard of a chief reaching out to the public the way Chief Garcia was.
He joked and told stories of his experiences working with the public so far, including an experience he had when a reporter asked him what he’d miss most about Texas. (When he said the chicken salad sandwiches he got a lot of responses from the public on Twitter, recommending all the best places to get a chicken salad sandwich in Phoenix.)
He took questions from the audience, who asked what changes he had made and what future plans the department has that the public can help with. (He changed the patrol structure right away, making sure there was only one chief over each patrol and has plans for the department to become more active on social media, which would make it easier for residents to report suspicious activity.)
He explained his view of SB1070. (The five principals of policing with a purpose fit SB1070 perfectly, Garcia said. He plans to enforce the law just like any other.)
The most important thing for residents to take from the meeting though was the fact that Garcia has made it a point to visit all the precincts and get to know community groups. He’s starting his takeover off right by visiting the people first. Why? He wants to share his message.
“I believe we have a great police department,” Garcia said. “I want to be known as the best police department in the United States. I want that to come out of your mouth and your neighbor’s mouths and the media’s mouth. I want, when I go to major cities to conferences, I want them to say Phoenix’s police department is the best police department ever. It comes from us believing that. I think we can be and will be the best police department. I want to make sure we get that message out. We’re doing tremendous things in this city.”
Congrats, Phoenix. You have a police chief who is dedicated to making Phoenix a better place through nurturing democracy, justice, a spirit of service, fundamental fairness and protecting from harm. Now all he needs is your help. Are you as dedicated as he is?
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