The focus was on a promise to continue community policing on Monday as Daniel Garcia was sworn in as the new police chief of the Phoenix Police Department.
“(Garcia) and I have spoken many times about the importance of community policing,” said Mayor Greg Stanton. “Looking around the room I see many community leaders… wondering whether this city’s commitment to community policing will stay. I’ve spoken to Chief Garcia and I think the city’s commitment to community policing will be taken to a whole new level under his leadership.”
City Manager David Cavazos said he and the 30 community leaders who helped with the hiring process of Garcia were impressed with his successful 33-year track record with the Dallas Police Department. Garcia has moved up through the ranks in Dallas and was most recently the assistant chief.
“As assistant chief, he managed the Communications, Detention Services, Property Division and Legal Services divisions,” according to a statement from the city. “Garcia strongly believes in community-based policing by keeping communication lines open between the community and police officers. As Phoenix’s police chief, his goal is to partner with all city departments to address crime and maintain a good quality of life for residents.”
Garcia’s former boss and the former Dallas police chief, Ben Click, said a few words about Garcia before presenting him with his new badge. Click was the assistant chief of the Phoenix Police Department 19 years ago before leaving Phoenix to become the chief of the Dallas Police Department.
“When I got to Dallas I immediately had some promotions to make to deputy chief,” Click said. “I had about a dozen candidates that rose to the surface that all seemed well qualified. In interviewing those individuals there was one that stood out amongst the rest, and that was Danny. He was a great street cop... But he was also a great leader and administrator. We talk about community policing. We had a strong program there and while I was there Danny was one of my patrol division commanders and he took community policing beyond where I thought it could even go. I think you’re going to be pleased with Danny’s effort in that sense.”
Click joked that the only time he has questioned Garcia’s judgement was moving to Phoenix at the beginning of the summer.
Garcia said after 30 years with the Dallas Police Department he has a deep love for that department, but he promised the officers of the Phoenix Police Department that he would transfer the love he has for that department to the Phoenix Police Department.
“The Dallas Police Department allowed me to grow up to be the chief-level police officer that I wanted to be,” Garcia said. “I have a strong loyalty to the Dallas Police Department, but I don’t work for the Dallas Police Department anymore. I work for the city of Phoenix and the Phoenix Police Department. I promise you… I will take the love I have for the Dallas Police Department and transfer it right over to the Phoenix Police Department… My commitment is now to making or continuing to make the Phoenix Police Department the best in the United States. I want the citizens, the officers and the city to know my level of commitment to the city of Phoenix and the Phoenix Police Department.”
Garcia earned his degree in criminal justice from Sam Houston State University, is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the Police Executive Research Forum. He has earned many awards throughout his career, including runner-up Rookie of the Year, 11 Dallas Police Shooting awards, Texas State Rifle Association Marksman Champion, and League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Council 100 Certificate of Appreciation, according to a statement from the city of Phoenix.
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