Panel recommends Chief Magnus for Tucson top cop job

Outgoing Richmond police chief responds to recent uptick in gun violence

A citizen advisory committee in Tucson, Ariz., has recommended Richmond police Chief Chris Magnus for the position of their city’s top cop, the Arizona Daily Star reported Thursday.

Eleven of 14 members on the Citizen Police Chief Appointment Advisory Committee preferred Magnus after interviewing three finalists for the position. The finalists were chosen from a pool of 60 applicants, the newspaper said.

The Richmond police chief, who was recruited for the position and has said he is open to a new challenge, was lauded for his creative approach to policing that has been credited with driving down the city’s crime rate.

Magnus “seemed to open my eyes and set my heart afloat,” a committee member said. “He has so many ideas and what he did in Richmond was astounding. There was trouble there and he hit it head on.”

Although the citizen advisory committee recommended Magnus, “almost every one” said they’d rather see a qualified local candidate, the Daily Star reported. Tucson’s city manager suggested none of the local talent are ready for the job of police chief.

“It’s an issue that’s more systemic,” he told the Daily Star. “It’s a function of our preparing our folks and making sure that they have the tools to advance.”

Magnus and the other candidates also interviewed with the Tucson police union, command staff and other city officials, according to the Daily Star. The results of those interviews will weigh into the decision as to who Tucson City Manager Michael Ortega will recommend to his city’s council. According to a local TV news station, Ortega hopes council will vote on his chosen candidate in about two weeks.

The other two finalists are Malik Aziz, a Dallas deputy police chief, and Rick Gregory, the vice president and senior research associate at the Institute for Intergovernmental Research in Tallahassee, Fla. There were initially five finalists, but two others have dropped out.

The police chief of Tucson will oversee 942 sworn officers and about 300 civilian personnel, the Daily Star said. By contract, RPD has just under 200 sworn officers.

To read some of what Magnus said during his interview with the citizen advisory committee, read the Daily Star’s report here.

– The photo above is a screenshot of an Al Jazeera report on Chief Magnus.


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