City councilman calls for removal of Phoenix police chiefPosted: Updated:
PHOENIX -- A Phoenix city councilman is calling for the ouster of Police Chief Daniel Garcia in the wake of a former officer's suicide.
"It's time for a leadership change at PHX PD," Sal DiCiccio posted on Facebook Saturday.
DiCiccio's post comes after of a series of stories by Donna Rossi at 3TV's sister station, CBS 5, about the death of a former Phoenix officer who was diagnosed with PTSD.
Craig Tiger died of an apparent suicide about a week ago. He suffered from PTSD triggered by an on-duty shooting in 2012. After that incident, Tiger was arrested on suspicion of DUI, which is believed to have been the result of then-undiagnosed PTSD, and subsequently fired.
DiCiccio calls Tiger a "hero who died protecting us," and says he should have received more help rather than being treated like a criminal. He blames the lack of support on Garcia.
"That department needs a major change-starting at the top," he wrote in another Facebook post Saturday. "It is unacceptable what happened to this hero."
"What and how this happened to officer [sic] Craig Tiger could have easily been avoided," he posted on Thursday. "Every one of us in leadership bears the burden of this travesty."
DiCiccio elaborated on his position when he talked to 3TV Saturday.
"That department now is seeing the lowest morale that we've ever had there," he said. "You've got a police chief that literally had a police officer die and he comes out and calls him a criminal. That tells me that there needs to be a leadership change, not just from the top person, but everybody in leadership at the police department."
"It also tells me that we've got a problem with the public," he continued. "The public is at risk; the police officers are at risk when you have a morale problem like this."
Garcia has declined to answer questions about how his department deals with PTSD. 3TV's Erika Flores reached out to him Saturday, but he did not specifically address Tiger's death or DiCiccio's social media posts.
"As the Chief of Police I will continue to focus on my duties and responsibilities while we work together to find solutions that are in the best interests of our community and our employees," he said in a statement.
Donna Rossi's stories
- Outpouring of concern for PTSD among police (11/14/2014)
- Phoenix mayor: City will study police officers with PTSD (11/13/2014)
- Ex-wife: Phoenix officer's suicide preventable (11/12/2014)
- Ex-Phoenix officer with PTSD dies in apparent suicide (11/10/2014)