Here’s the latest on Phoenix’s search for Police Chief Williams’ successor

PHOENIX — Chief Jeri Williams doesn’t yet know when her retirement will become official, but the Phoenix Police Department is making changes to prepare for the impending power transition.

“I am not part of the process. I will say hopefully they get closer to a decision,” said Williams, who announced his retirement in May. KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show Thursday.

Phoenix City Manager Jeff Barton is seeking an interim chief until the US Department of Justice concludes its investigation into potential civil rights violations and abuses of power by the service from police.

“The City Manager made it clear that he was looking for someone with Justice Department experience to help us with this second part or second phase of the DOJ investigation into the police department, and, quite frankly, neither neither me nor anyone else on our department has that experience,” Williams said.

A city spokesperson said KTAR News Thursday, the selection process was underway but there was no timetable.

“I believe I have some responsibility to the leadership of the city, to the police department itself to help make this transition with an interim as smooth as possible,” said Williams, who was named chief. of Phoenix in October 2016.

The interim chief will come from outside the department, the city said. Barton will lead a nationwide search, including internal candidates, for a permanent chief after the DOJ completes its investigation, which began in August 2021.

“I’m absolutely certain that when the permanent leader is chosen or selected, he or she will lead with heart and passion,” Williams said.

Meanwhile, Executive Deputy Chief Mike Kurtenbach, currently the department’s second-in-command, is being reassigned to deputy chief status. He retains his rank of commander.

sergeant. Department spokesman Philip Krynsky said Thursday that Kurtenbach’s reassignment “is neither a promotion nor a demotion.”

“In order to allow the new acting police chief to select his own executive deputy chief, the position will be temporarily vacated effective July 25 and the duties will be divided among the deputy chiefs,” Krynsky said. KTAR News in an email.

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Brandon D. James