Phoenix names new chief of police

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Daniel V. Garcia By Jennifer Thomas Daniel V. Garcia By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- Daniel V. Garcia has been named Phoenix's new chief of police.
Phoenix City Manager David Cavazos announced the hiring Monday afternoon.

"After a nationwide search and a thorough interview process that included more than 30 members of the Phoenix community, I have selected Daniel Garcia to serve as Phoenix's next police chief," Cavazos said.

"We have an outstanding police department that has earned a national reputation for its community-based policing and many other innovative programs," Cavazos continued. "Chief Garcia will help lead the department to the next level of excellence, integrity and respect for our community."

Garcia, 54, served nearly 34 years in the Dallas Police Department and had been an assistant police chief since 2004.
"Daniel V. Garcia will bring new, strong and sound leadership to our police department, which is already one of the best in the country,” Mayor Greg Stanton said.

Garcia replaces Jack Harris, who left in April after city management sidelined him from daily duties during a political controversy over kidnapping statistics Phoenix cited to receive federal grant money.

Other finalists for the job included acting Phoenix Police Chief Joe Yahner, Phoenix Assistant Police Chief Kevin Robinson and former San Jose (Calif.) Police Chief Robert Davis.

"This is a wonderful opportunity," Garcia said. "The Phoenix Police Department has a strong reputation in the law enforcement field, and I want to be part of that."

Garcia also thanked Yahner and Robinson in his brief remarks before Monday afternoon.

"[Yahner's] leadership has been outstanding, and I look forward to working with him."

The incoming chief avoided discussing anything controversial.  When asked about the issue of immigration, he responded, "There's nothing more important than treating people with dignity and respect.  That's my answer to the immigration issue."

A 2010 profile in the Dallas Morning News described Garcia as a "take charge commander" and an excellent "planner and tactician." But like any person in a position of authority, Garcia has his critics.  They say he is a "micromanager" who relies on "intimidation" to get things done.

Garcia stated his goal for his work as the new top cop in Phoenix succinctly.

“My message coming into the city of Phoenix as the chief of police is very simple: I want to be policing with a purpose,” Garcia said.

Garcia will begin his new assignment in May.