CHIEFSOur department has had some pretty amazing leaders over the years and this timeline will help you see some of their accomplishments and challenges.
The following is a list of Phoenix Police chiefs dating from before the adoption of the city commission form of government in 1914. Between 1914 and the adoption of Charter Reform in 1948, police chiefs and other phoenix offices changed personnel regularly with each municipal election (and sometimes more often). Some were appointed and served as Police Chief/Chief of Police for a short time even though they had no police background. City administrators were regularly appointed to fill a vacancy temporarily. W. C. LeFebvre was both city engineer and city manager as well as the police chief. Joseph C. Furst was a city clerk while chief. Only after the establishment of the charter government committee did stability arrive for phoenix municipal government and it’s police department.
Jeri Williams (2016 - present)
Jeri L. Williams was appointed Police Chief of the Phoenix Police Department in October 2016. She oversees the largest police department in the State of Arizona, which provides law enforcement services to the fifth largest city in the United States. Chief Williams manages 2,900 sworn officers and more than 900 civilian employees along with an annual budget that exceeds $600 million.
Chief Williams is a 28-year law enforcement veteran and an accomplished police executive. Under her leadership, the Phoenix Police Department is advancing progressive strategies essential in contemporary law enforcement. Core components of these efforts are centered on the suppression and prevention of crime, the continuation of community engagement and outreach, the promotion of transparency and accountability to increase legitimacy and the commitment to employees and their well-being.
Previously, Chief Williams served nearly six years as Police Chief in the City of Oxnard, California where she strengthened police-community relationships and oversaw the implementation of police body-worn cameras.
Chief Williams is a native Phoenician. She began her law enforcement career with the Phoenix Police Department and retired as an Assistant Chief after 22 years of service following her selection as Oxnard Police Chief.
Chief Williams is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA) and the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police (AACOP).
During Arizona’s Centennial year, Chief Williams was honored as one of Arizona’s 48 Most Intriguing Women by the Arizona Centennial Legacy Project, in partnership with the Arizona Historical Society and the Arizona Community Foundation for her leadership in the law enforcement profession. In 2016, Chief Williams was recognized as California Assembly District 44 Woman of the Year for her leadership and outstanding accomplishments as Chief of the Oxnard Police Department and in late 2016, President Obama appointed Chief Williams to a membership position on the Medal of Valor Review Board.
Chief Williams holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Arts from Arizona State University and a Master’s degree in Education from Northern Arizona University.
Joseph Yahner (2015-2016)
Acting Chief Joe Yahner was appointed as the permanent police chief. Chief Yahner has been the acting chief since December of 2014 and served as the acting chief several years ago. Chief Yahner began with the department 30 years ago and 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. Chief Yahner was born and raised in Phoenix and received his undergraduate degree from Arizona State University and his Master’s degree from the University of Phoenix.
Daniel Garcia (2012-2015)
Daniel Garcia was appointed Phoenix Police Chief on Monday, May 14, 2012. Daniel V. Garcia, was a former assistant chief of the Dallas Police Department. Chief Garcia was a 33-year veteran of the Dallas, Texas Police Department and had been an assistant chief there since 2004, managing their Communications, Detention Services, Property, and Legal Services Divisions. He assisted in the implementation of the annual Phoenix Police Department yearly memorial to honor our fallen employees.
Joseph Yahner (2011-2012)
Jack Harris (2004-2011)
Jack Harris serve as the interim chief when the former Chief Harold Hurtt left for Houston and appointed to Police Chief on March 13, 2004. Chief Harris served 39 years with the department. After retiring he became a deputy city manager with the title of public safety manager. He is a graduate of Phoenix College, bachelor’s degree in political science Arizona state university, human resources degree Ottawa University and the FBI academy and FBI National Executive Institute. spearheaded safe city task force, developed first community policing station in northeast Phoenix. ASU certified Public Manager program. He served in the Marine Corps reserves and later the National Guard.
Harold Hurtt (1998-2004)
Harold Hurtt served four years in the Air Force before joining the department in 1968. He rose to the rank of Assistant chief in 1987 and later left to accept a job as the Police Chief of Oxnard, California in 1991. He returned years later after being appointed the Phoenix Police Chief. He served as the Phoenix Police Chief from May 11, 1998 until March 12, 2004 after retiring to accept the position as the Houston Police Chief. Chief Hurtt earned a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University in Sociology, as well as a Masters degree in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix. He was also graduate of the Valley Leadership Program and a senior fellow at the University of California at Los Angeles, School of Public Policy and Social Research. He was also the past President of the Major Cities Chiefs of Police, and a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, and the Police Executive Research Forum. During his time as the department chief, he had a staff of 3,400 and 240 million dollar budget.
Dennis A Garrett (1991-1998)
Dennis A. Garrett was appointed Phoenix Police Chief on October 3, 1991. During his 34 1/2 years with the Phoenix Police Department he worked all the divisions and major bureaus of the organization. A native of Phoenix he held an Associate of Arts Degree from Glendale Community College, a Bachelor of Science Degree from Northern Arizona University, and a Master of Public Administration Degree from Arizona State University. He was inducted into Arizona State University’s College of Public Affairs Hall of Fame in October of 1994. In April 1997, he was inducted into the St. Mary’s High School Alumnus Hall of Fame for being an Outstanding Public Administrator, and his biography appears in Who’s Who in America. He was selected the 1997 “Man of the Year” for Phoenix, by Valley Leadership. He was experienced in all major areas of police administration, with a consistent record of achievement in identifying, planning, and implementing long range organizational-wide programs. He has been successful in the application of management concepts, such as organizational development and management by objectives, in both staff and operational commands. Chief Dennis Garrett retired from the Phoenix Police Department on May 8th 1998. Since his retirement from Phoenix, he has worked as the Director for the Arizona Department of Public Safety, served with Rio Salado College as the Vice Chair of the National Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (NCLEET). Chief Dennis Garrett has been an active member of the Phoenix Police Museum and has continued to serve on the museum board as the Executive Director.
Ruben B. Ortega (1980-1991)
Ruben B. Ortega joined the department in 1960 and served many positions including as a detective and later as a lieutenant, as the chief investigator of racial disturbances. As a commander he served in the Community Relations Bureau, and as a major, in charge of the Community Services Division. He was promoted to the Police Chief February 25, 1980 at a time there was a work showdown by officers stemming from contract negotiations between the police union and the city. During his time as Police Chief the department opened a new defensive driving track, formed the Selective Enforcement Bureau, received accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) and began the Internal Affairs Bureau. Chief Ortega retired on June 11, 1991 later becoming the police chief for Salt Lake City, Utah.
Robert G. Kornegay (1980)
Lawrence M. Wetzel (1968-1980)
Lawrence Wetzel joined the Phoenix Police Department in July of 1948 receiving his serial number as #121, today the serial numbers are over 10,000). He was called back to active duty briefly in 1950 when the Korean War broke out where he served as a Radio Operator, Mechanic Gunner and B-17 Bomber Crew. Upon his return to the department, he was reinstatement as a Patrolman, later working in the Detectives, Traffic and Patrol Division until making Chief of Police in 1968. He completed the year-long Traffic Police Administration Training Program at Northwestern University Traffic Institute in Evanston, Illinois. Chief Wetzel was appointed on November 18, 1968. During his time as the Police Chief, chemical MACE was added to equipment officer carried, a civilian ride-a-along program began, three new briefing stations were added, and the Planning and Development, Personnel and Special Operations, and Fiscal Management Bureaus were formed and Community Relations bureau became a division. The department also reorganized into five divisions, began the crime prevention program Operation Identification, All Colors go with Blue campaign, Sex Crimes detail was formed, as well as adding Air Patrol and training two bomb detection dog teams. The department also implemented computer technology such as the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD), the Arizona Criminal Justice Information System (ACJIS).
Chief Wetzel retired January 31,1980 to serve as the Arizona Corporation Commission’s Director of Interstate Transportation. Later in 1985 he was appointed Chief of Security for the Arizona Republic.
Paul E. Blubaum (1964-1968)
Paul Blubaum was appointed police chief on January 1, 1964 at the age of 38 and was the youngest chief on the department to serve. Chief Paul Blubaum was a 22-year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department and rose through the marks to become the chief for 5 years. During his time as chief the department grew from 594 officers to 744. It went from three to two divisions, and Community Relations bureau was formed. The Planning and Training bureaus were separated, Operation Crime Stop began, and officers were assigned to work security at Sky Harbor Airport. The department employed a full-time attorney assigned to the department. Chief Blubaum worked to improve benefits and working conditions for officers, improvements in equipment and policy issues. He retired November 18,1968 to become a civilian administrative director for the city of Paterson, NJ, police department.
Charles P. Thomas (1952-1963)
Charles Thomas was appointed as chief on August 16, 1952. He was a lieutenant prior to his promotion and was selected since the city leaders wanted change and a new direction for the department. During his time as chief the department went from 173 officers to 534 officers, retirement went from 20 to 25 years and the work week went from 44 to 40 hours. The department went from four to three divisions, created the first briefing substation, built a new city jail and the department raised steers for jail food. The department began to issue the officers equipment of 38 revolvers, gun belts, handcuffs and purchased new police cars with refrigeration. The Special Investigations Bureau for VICE and Drugs and Crime Detection Laboratory were established. New technology of radar speed meters, punch card and photocopy machines were added, and the Records and Information Bureau was created. The Departments police manual was created as well as a police library. The first women dispatchers were added, four police women were sworn in with arrest powers, and the first police woman was promoted to sergeant. Chief Thomas retired December 31, 1963.
Earl L. O’Clair (1947-1952)
Ed C. Moore
James T. Duane
James T. Duane and D.C. Steward
J.L. Holtzendorff and Ernest W. Titel
Ed C. Moore
M.B. Morrison and Pelham Glassford
W.C. Lefevre (July 14th 1932 to January 12th, 1933)
In the Fall of 1932 to increase the safety of students and teachers, Lefebvre placed Phoenix officers at school crossings throughout the city. The chief also warns residence that all bicycles operated in the city must have a bike license, which can be purchased at police headquarters for $.50. On October 1st, 1932 the Phoenix Police Department is assigned the radio frequency 2,430 kilocycles and the call letters K62J for its communication. In November the department begins accepting bids for radios to be placed in 12 police cars. On December 3rd, 1932, the Phoenix Police answer their very first radio call, a fight that had broken out at 16th Street and Jefferson. Earlier on November 15th Chief Lefebvre formed three “Machinegun Squads”. On January 12th Lefebvre was named City Engineer and N. W. Matlock, who was serving as Assistant Chief.
Oscar Roberts (August 2nd, 1930 –July 14th, 1932)
Under Roberts command, the Phoenix Police Department was rated one of the best in the nation, comprised of six motorcycles, 8 automobiles (3 large, 5 lighter), 70 men each working 9 hour shifts 6 days a week. Not soon after this accolade the department would add an additional four Ford Touring cars to its repertoire, chosen for their “speedy acceleration and quick getaway”.
Ernest “E. W.” Titel (May 2nd, 1930- August 2nd, 1930)
Only one week into his time as chief, Titel dismisses George O. Brisbois, former chief, who was serving as a Traffic Captain. On July 29th, 1930 it was announced that Oscar Roberts will become chief once he establishes legal residence in Phoenix and Titel would be demoted to Day Captain. On August 2nd, 1930 Oscar Roberts appointed Chief of Police.
N. W. Matlock (April 2nd- May 2nd, 1930)
Matlock was reinstated on April 2nd, 1930 but was dismissed by the new city commission one month later.
David Montgomery (June 1st, 1929- April 2nd, 1930)
Very little is known about Montgomery other than that by August of 1929 the Phoenix police department was up to 73 men.
N. W. Matlock (May 4th, 1928- May 31st, 1929)
Within months of his appointment, 10 new officers join Phoenix Police, brining the department’s size to 50, chief, 4 captains, 45 sergeants, traffic officers, detectives and patrolmen. In the tradition of traffic law progression, enacted by previous chiefs, Matlock announced two campaigns. One against anyone operating a vehicle who is under the age of 16 and another that all motorist must pull over for an emergency vehicle when its sirens are sounded. On May 31st, 1929 a city commission removed Matlock and appointed David Montgomery.
George O. Brisbois (1923-1928)
As a strong proponent of automobile laws, Brisbois proposes that all drivers should be required to pass a test to prove they are competent drivers. In his continued effort to make Phoenix a clean and safe city, Brisbois bans gambling machines, such as slots machines. Phoenix Police would lose its first officer on February 5th, 1925 when Officer Haze Burch, who was shot by two men attempting to siphon gasoline from a car. In response Chief Brisbois would present Dora Burch with a check for $2,737, collected from various donors. As a champion of progress in traffic laws, Chief Brisbois had cards distributed throughout the city, designed to let citizens report traffic violations. The cards with the driver’s information would be returned to the police and a warning letter would be written to the offender by Chief Brisbois. On May 4th, 1928 Chief Brisbois is suspended, likely because of city administration changes and officially dismissed May 8th. N. W. Matlock appointed in his place.
Oscar Roberts (October 15th 1922- May 2nd, 1923)
Roberts would replace Wilkerson as Phoenix Police Chief and serve less than 7 months. When a new city manager was hired, Avery Thompson, Brisbois was reinstated as Police Chief.
Robert L. Wilkerson (April 30th to October 15th, 1922)
George O. Brisbois (April 13th, 1915 to April 29th, 1922)
After an investigation into the corruption of the city manager who presided over Brisbois “retirement”, Brisbois was reinstated on April 13, 1915. In an effort to make Phoenix a cleaner and safer city, Brisbois and other officers would regularly raid underground gambling halls. Just as he had enforced the use of headlights at night, Brisbois would implement the “Enos System” where cars park by backing into the curb and face the street. This makes entering the street easier and safer. As the U.S. entered the First World War, as required by President Wilson in the Spring of 1917, all “German Aliens” must surrender “any firearm, weapon or implement of war”. By January 1918, all “German Aliens” living within the Phoenix city limits must sign and submit a statement of peace and good intent while residing in the U.S. as well as photos and finger prints. This originally only applied to men, but would soon include women. This would be put into place by Brisbois and the Phoenix Police Department. At this point the Phoenix Police Department had 23 officers on duty. When the Spanish Flue broke out, Chief Brisbois, who had previous nursing experience, and his wife went to Winslow to assist with an outbreak there. Brisbois himself would contract this flu, but only a “light form”. The outbreak had reached such severity that those who had contracted that were required to wear masks while in public or face criminal charges. After a tour of California cities, Brisbois returns to Phoenix with the intent to implement the “Gamewell Alarm System”, which places call boxes through the city. Brisbois also wished to improve the departments identification system by training each officer on finger prints and employing photographers and chemist. On April 29th 1922 with a change in city government, many city officials were asked to resign, including Brisbois. His replacement would, for the second time, be Robert Wilkerson, who would be replaced by Oscar Roberts, but within little more than a year Brisbois would return as chief.
Robert L. Wilkerson (March 26th to April 13th, 1915)
Previous to his time as Police Chief, Wilkerson was an officer on the Phoenix Police Department. Wilkerson would serve as interim Police Chief on two occasions, once in 1915 and again in 1922.
Walt F. Brauner (February 1st to March 26th, 1915)
Brauner would serve from February 1st until March 26th, 1915. Although his term was short, Brauner did manage to hold a Clean Up Day, where unsightly areas were cleaned up and some properties received a notice.
George O. Brisbois (April 11th, 1914 to February 1st, 1915)
George Brisbois served intermittently as Phoenix Police Chief between 1914 and 1934. Before becoming an officer in 1911, Brisbois worked as a night attendant in the state asylum for the insane. Within a matter of months of being an officer he was promoted to captain. On April 11, 1914 Brisbois was named Moor’s replacement. As the city grew that laws had to adapt. Soon after becoming chief, Brisbois ordered officers to bring in every car that was being operated at night without headlights. On January 10, 1915 it was announced that Chief Brisbois would retire affective February 1st and his replacement would be Walt Brauner, who would serve from February 1st until March 26th. The position as chief would then fall to Robert L. Wilkerson who would serve from March 26th to April 13th.
A. J. Moore (1912 - 1914)
First Chief of Police in Phoenix. Chief Moore started with four officer and ended up with 15. During this time the department installed its first call boxes.
A. J. Moore (1907-1912)
Sometimes going by John, Moore served as Phoenix City Marshal from 1907 until 1912. Moore served as an officer for 4 years before becoming the Marshal. Noted for his creativity and quick thinking, during a “impromptu parade” Marshal Moore quickly deployed officers not only to contain the thousands of participants, but to establish law and order. Moore also, after chasing a man under a building and throwing bottles at him in hopes of getting him out, had the shop owner from which the man stole from to tell the man that he was a “good fellow and desirable citizen”. This drew the man out and Moore quickly arrested him.
J.H. Kinney (1903-1907)
Very little is known about J.H. Kinney’s time as City Marshal. We know following his service to the city, he would serve as the Forest Service Supervisor in Captain, New Mexico.
Hi Hooker (1897 - 1901)
Hi Hooker served as the Phoenix City Marshal from 1897 until 1901, serving as an officer and jailor before that. He was known as a good-natured man, one September day in 1895, while serving as jailor, he took all the prisoners in the town jail to see the circus parade and was considered a most accommodating host by his prisoners. As a Marshal he once took a single mother and her four children to dinner when they ran out of money while travelling from Maricopa to California. On September 21, 1898, he was accidently shot when his sidearm discharged while Hooker was being brushed off following a shoeshine. Although the bullet ripped through his calf, the marshal was not seriously injured and returned to duty a few days later. Known for his “suavity of manner”, in 1900, once arresting an armed man at gunpoint and promptly stating, “I should like to have you join me in a small drink”, the pair walked to a nearby bar, enjoyed a drink, then the man was taken to jail. As City Marshall, Hooker would enforce several newly established town ordinances including a requirement that all bicycles being rode at night have a light and an ordinance against spitting on the sidewalks.
Augustus C. Clark (1895 to 1897)
Sometimes called Gus, G.C. or Aug, Clark served as the second Phoenix City Marshal from 1895 until 1897. Before his career in law enforcement began, Clark served as chairman for Phoenix’s Fourth ward and Fire Chief. Little is known about the events of Clark’s time as marshal other than shooting unlicensed dogs that are captured.
J.W. “Billy” Blankenship (1886 to 1895)
Blankenship beat Garfias in 1886 by 31 votes to become the next Phoenix City Marshal. Before becoming the second Phoenix City Marshal, Blankenship served as a Maricopa County Sheriff’s Deputy, a constable, and a Wells Fargo special messenger. While in service of Wells Fargo, he was shot in both hands during a stagecoach robbery but was still able to repel the attackers.
Henry Garfias (1881 - 1886)
The first Phoenix Town Marshal.
Come on In! Free admission
(Last entrance at 2:45PM)
*Service dogs are welcome
closed for holidays
New Year’s Day
Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday
Cesar Chavez Birthday (March 31)
The day after Thanksgiving
17 South 2nd Avenue
Historic City Hall 1st Floor
Phoenix, AZ 85003-2202
Admission is free, but we will gladly take donations!
The Phoenix Police Museum is an IRS approved non profit 501C3 organization. We are supported by the generous monthly payroll deduction of over 1,700 Police and City of Phoenix employees as well as donations from individuals and businesses.
Paid Parking is available along Jefferson Street at the meters or in the City of Phoenix parking garage located at 305 West Washington Street.
Meters - Hourly Rates
Meters cost $1.50 per hour and coin-only meters cost $1 per hour.
Most meters accept credit/debit cards and coins and others only accept coins.
Pay-by-cell is also available via the Pango Mobile Parking app for credit card enabled parking meter
Time limits generally vary by location. Time limits at metered locations can range from 15 minutes to as long as 8 hours. In most areas, the maximum duration is 2 hours. The parking time limits are posted on each meter.
ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Accessible Meters
Phoenix has several on-street accessible parking spaces throughout the downtown area. Each space is clearly marked with a special sign with the international symbol of access.
Vehicles displaying a valid ADA License Plate and/or Placard receive one hour of free parking once their parking meter has expired. Vehicles displaying a valid Purple Heart Recipient license plate also receive one free additional hour. This applies to all parking meters, not just the designated ADA Accessible parking meters. The nearest ADA paid parking meter is located just East of 2nd Avenue on Jefferson on the North side of the roadway.
305 PARKING GARAGE
The City of Phoenix parking garage is managed by Ace Parking and can be contacted at 1-888-223-7275. It does have Disable spots available and has a height restriction of vehicles of 8’2″. Wider vehicles must call ahead to make an appointment for a limited number of over sized vehicles. The cost of all parking is $4.00 per hour. The Museum does not validate parking for visitors.
How to get here...
From the Northwest Valley via I-17 South I-17 to I-10 East (exit 200A) Exit at 7th Avenue (exit 144A) and turn right Travel 1 mile to Jefferson Street and turn left Move to the left lane. Turn left into City Public Parking Garage between 4th and 3rd Avenues.
From the Northeast Valley via SR51 South SR51 to I-10 West Exit at 7th Avenue (exit 144A) and turn left Travel 1 mile to Jefferson Street and turn left. Move to the left lane. Turn left into City Public Parking Garage between 4th and 3rd Avenues.
From the West Valley via I-10 East Exit at 7th Avenue (exit 144A) and turn right Travel 1 mile to Jefferson Street and turn left. Move to the left lane Turn left into City Public Parking Garage between 4th and 3rd Avenues.
From the Southeast Valley via I-10 West Exit at 7th Avenue (exit 144) and turn left. Travel 1 mile to Jefferson Street and turn left. Move to the left lane. Turn left into City Public Parking Garage between 4th and 3rd Avenues Note: The parking garage has a second entrance on 4th Avenue between Jefferson and Washington.
Note: The parking garage has a second entrance on 4th Avenue between Jefferson and Washington.
Please call or email us to schedule a tour for groups larger than 10 persons.
602.534.7278 or firstname.lastname@example.org
A suggested donation of $25 is requested for group tours over 10 persons. We require appropriate adult supervision ratio for children and special needs individuals. Normal tour groups sizes are suggested to be no larger than 24 to 30 persons. It is best to call approximately one month in advance if you are requesting a specific time and day.