Chris Magnus speaks out about accepting Tucson police chief position

Outgoing Richmond police chief responds to recent uptick in gun violence

Richmond police Chief Chris Magnus called his decision to leave the department for Tucson’s top cop job the most difficult of his career.

At a news conference Wednesday, according to Bay City News (BCN), Magnus stated he has officially accepted the police chief position in the Arizona city with about 500,000 residents.

Magnus has gained local and national acclaim for the work he has done to reduce crime in Richmond and improve relations between law enforcement and residents since 2006. He called his decision to leave “bittersweet,” according to the BCN report.

“I think most know how close I felt to this department and this community,” he said. “I couldn’t be more proud of where we’re at now and the direction we’re going to continue to head, whether I’m here or not.”

He added there is still work to be done in Richmond, noting ongoing violence such as the shooting Tuesday night that injured a man and 5-year-old boy, BCN said.

“This is always going to be a work in progress,” Magnus said, adding RPD is “following the right playbook.”

He looks forward to the challenge of bringing his community policing strategies to Tucson, a larger city. The police chief of Tucson oversees 942 sworn officers while RPD has about 200.

“I’m not getting younger,” Magnus added. “I’m at the point where if I’m going to have another adventure or opportunity in my career this is the time to take it.”

The departure of Magnus also means the departure of his husband Terrance Cheung, the chief of staff to Mayor Tom Butt.

Magnus is set to start in Tucson in January.

For more information on background on Magnus and his hiring process in Tucson, read our earlier report here.