Ousted Phoenix Chief: “Don’t Inject Politics Into the Police Department”


Former Phoenix Police Chief Jack Harris, who was forced out as Public Safety Manager, blames politics. He tells the Arizona Republic that most police chiefs “leave because of politics. Rarely do you see a major-city chief terminated because of incompetence or a criminal act or something. It’s almost always that the political atmosphere changed and the new power structure wants their own person, and they try to force you out. I think that’s what happened to me. There were new faces in the City Council, a new city manager and constant pressure from the union.”

Harris said the became involved in a dispute with the police union, “wanted us to become very involved in [immigration enforcement], and I didn’t.” Harris’ advice to Phoenix leaders: “Don’t inject politics into the police department and the position of police chief. If you let politics in and let the council influence who the police chief will be, then the chief is beholden to politicians. You want the police department outside politics.”

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