TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- We're learning more about why Tempe's first female police chief is stepping down.

In a letter to the department, Chief Sylvia Moir said, "...In conversations with City Manager Andrew Ching, he has been clear about who should finish the work and who should have a seat at the table for the reforms desired. These conversations have culminated in making the difficult decision to resign from my position as Police Chief of Tempe..."

Moir first assumed the role in March 2016. Her last day will be Oct. 25. 

Her resignation comes at a time when Tempe has been working on police reform. "Generally speaking, to date she has embraced a lot of those reforms," said Tempe City Manager Andrew Ching.

Ching said he wants a chief who knows reform will be a process and takes time.

"Knowing what I know, in my position, you have to evaluate the full palette of strengths and weaknesses that every person brings to the job. A lot about policing and the conversation about policing has changed just in this year, ever since the murder of George Floyd," said Ching. "Those discussions and protests going on around the country have really sort of changed a lot of people's thinking about what will be necessary to successfully move forward. It was my assessment that while we made a lot of progress that at this point I felt new leadership was needed."

He said he hopes to name an interim chief in the next few weeks.

When we questioned whether he asked Moir to resign he said, "I would never characterize that I asked. As I said earlier, we have regular conversations. We meet on a regular basis. I'm her direct report supervisor, and as a result of those significant, continuous, candid conversations, I believe we got to a mutual place and understanding that this was a good time to do this."

Moir did not want to do an interview at this time.

“Chief Moir served the residents of Tempe well,” Mayor Corey Woods said Tuesday. “She cares deeply for our community members and Tempe Police employees, and she has worked tirelessly to move our department forward. I have truly enjoyed working with her and wish her all the best.” 


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