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Chief Joe Yahner appointed as Phoenix Police Chief

Staff Report~ 2/18/2015

PHOENIX – Acting Phoenix Police Chief Joe Yahner has been appointed as the permanent chief. Yahner has been serving as the acting police chief since December 2014, after former chief Daniel Garcia was removed from the position.

“This is one of the best police departments in the nation, made up of men and women who are committed to keeping our city safe. I take great pride in being a part of the Phoenix Police department and am honored to lead this hard-working team,” said Yahner at his official acceptance conference on Feb. 11.  

City Manager Ed Zuercher chose Yahner to remain as the permanent chief. Yahner has served in the Phoenix Police Department for over 30 years. According to a statement from the city, Yahner began with the department 30 years ago and worked his way up until he was promoted to commander in 1999. He was assigned to the City Manager’s office, the traffic bureau, property crimes bureau, and the Maryvale precinct. In 2007, he was promoted to Assistant Chief and assigned to the Homeland Security Division where he oversaw the Super Bowl, NBA All-Star Game, and opening of the Light Rail. In 2009, he was promoted to Executive Assistant Chief and served as the Acting Police Chief from March 2011 through May 2012. 

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton called Yahner “an outstanding law enforcement professional who has done a tremendous job as interim police chief.”

Yahner also received support from the city council.

“Chief Yahner has had a tremendous career with the Phoenix Police Department, and I am confident he will be a strong leader for our officers,” said Councilman Daniel Valenzuela. “He also has demonstrated that he understands the importance of reaching out to the community and including input from our residents as he leads the Police Department.  This appointment will further strengthen our Police Department, our neighborhoods, and our community.”

Councilwoman Laura Pastor stated, “I commend City Manager Ed Zuercher officially appointing Joseph Yahner as the Chief of Police.  A native Phoenician, Yahner has served in the Police Department for more than 30 years.  His years of service and his leadership skills will move the department forward in a positive way that will be good for our city and our public safety personnel.”

 “Chief Yahner has a proven track record in the Team Phoenix approach for which the City is known – working with residents, community organizations and city departments – to find solutions and solve problems together,” said Councilman Michael Nowakowski.