Chandler police officer John Carboun — previously fired for criticizing commanders and then rehired last month — is back on patrol at a department, leaders say, is headed in a new direction.
Police Sgt. Mark Franzen confirmed Wednesday that Carboun came back to work Jan. 29, and has since been reissued equipment, has requalified with his duty weapon and is back on patrol.
As part of Carboun’s reinstatement, City Manager Donna Dreska stipulated a disciplinary measure of 160 hours suspension, which was retroactively included in the time Carboun spent unemployed.
Carboun did not respond to requests for an interview.
David LeVoy, president of the Chandler Law Enforcement Association president, said the unofficial union is happy to have its former president and co-founder back, especially at a time when new interim police Chief David Neuman is talking of more open lines of communication.
"The environment is changing to the positive," LeVoy said. "We feel that there is already the groundwork for fostering a more cohesive re lationship with management."
In an interview with the Tribune earlier this week, Neuman said the department plans to "learn from the past and move forward," which includes bettering communication between the rank-andfile and command level.
"If an officer has an issue, they need to come forward," Neuman said.
Carboun and other officers came forward in the past about safety concerns, from the quality of bulletproof vests to how hard it was at one time to get fire extinguishers in their patrol cars.
Now-retired Police Chief Bobby Joe Harris fired Carboun on the grounds that he lied or misled Dreska about some of the criticisms.
At a hearing to decide his fate in December, Carboun and other officers described an environment, encouraged by Harris, that retaliated against he and fellow members of the association.
Harris has repeatedly denied those charges.
Meanwhile, city officials are organizing their search for a permanent police chief.
The city hired Neuman, a lieutenant, to fill the temporary slot in order to give commanders and assistant chiefs the chance to apply for the job, said city spokesman Dave Bigos.
So far, no one at that level has said whether they will apply for the job — except for assistant chief Roger Nash, who has said he won’t be applying, Franzen said.