LPM Staff

The nobility of policing

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Phoenix Police Chief Garcia, courtesy of Phoenix Police Department

Years of service: 34 

Career highlights: Runner-up for Rookie of the Year (1978), Dallas Police Department; appointed Deputy Chief in Dallas in 1993; appointed Assistant Chief of Police in Dallas in 2004; appointed Chief of Police for Phoenix in May, 2012

Duties: Phoenix is the fifth largest city in the U.S. with a population of 1.4 million. As Chief of Police, I oversee the work of 3,048 officers and around 1,500 civilians, as well as an operating budget of $543 million.

Inherent dangers you face: Policing is rewarding, but involves dangerous encounters with criminals. Every day.I worry about the men and women who serve Phoenix and pray for their safety.

Proudest moment: I am very proud to have been chosen Phoenix’ Chief of Police. With this appointment, I reached a personal goal of being the chief of police in a major city and leader of a great law enforcement agency. It is an honor to lead the Phoenix Police Department.

Valuable learning experience: As a young man, I was a member of my junior high school’s marching band and had to audition for lead trumpet player on a weekly basis. I hated the auditions and the constant pressure of weekly accountability. Today my favorite saying is: “Every day’s an audition; things change.” I have now come to appreciate and understand the value of the challenges I faced as a young man and how they prepared me for facing bigger challenges in life.

Why did you decide to pursue this career? I chose law enforcement because I have always believed in protecting those who need help protecting themselves. I believe in “justice for all.” These words, recited daily in pledging allegiance to our country, have stayed with me from childhood and still guide me in planning for crime suppression in our communities.

Next Professional Goal: I want the Phoenix Police Department to be recognized across the country as the best law enforcement agency in the U.S.

Final word: I believe that those considering the law enforcement profession need to recognize the following five principles of “Policing with a Purpose”:  Ensuring and nurturing democracy; justice; spirit of service; fundamental fairness;  and protecting others from harm. Furthermore, I believe that dignity and respect are the ethical foundations of law enforcement. The nobility of policing demands that, if you are going to be part of the profession, you have to be able to live up to the highest standards of conduct and accountability.  

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