Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams has announced plans to retire this summer.
Williams has been in law enforcement for more than three decades. She began her career as a patrol officer in Phoenix in 1989. She moved to Oxnard, California to head the department in 2011. Williams was appointed to Phoenix Police Chief in 2016.
No additional details on her exact retirement date were given. The department has not yet released specifics on who will replace her.
Read the full statement from Chief Williams below:
“In October of 2016, I accepted the opportunity to become the Phoenix Police Chief. I was honored, humbled, and blessed when I was selected from a large field of worthy and qualified candidates. I still feel that way today. In some ways, I still feel like I’m just a kid from west Phoenix who was blessed to grow up and play in the major leagues in my own backyard.
Now, a few months away from completing my 6th year as Chief, it is time to look to the future. After much prayer and consideration and in consultation with my family and city leadership, I have decided to make a change. There is never a perfect time to transition but the time feels right for me now to step aside. Just like when I felt called to do this job, I also feel called right now to go in a new direction, allowing me the rare opportunity to prioritize family and explore future endeavors.
As I make this choice to transition professionally, I am proud to have paved the way for this department to move forward in a positive manner while at the same time opening the door for the next Chief to enter. I hope they will enjoy the journey as much as I have while they lead the department through the next chapter in its history.
As I look back over my years as Phoenix Police Officer and Chief of Police, I am tremendously proud of several accomplishments. While that list is long, here are a few that stand out:
- Body Worn Cameras for our officers and the community
- Documenting every time an officer points a weapon at someone
- Implementing less lethal response to encounters which has prevented some officer-involved shootings
- Obtaining a new records management system
- Something as simple as getting cell phones for officers
- Standard processes like updating policies and procedures to mirror the changing expectations and demands of the community
- Being transparent by showing the public Critical Incident Videos in 14-days or less
- Becoming fully compliant with #8CAN’TWAIT
- And relationships: Through all the highs and lows (and there have been many!) I am proud of the relationships we’ve built and maintained with our community, employees and both legal and law enforcement peers throughout the county, state and country.
I hope you can understand why these accomplishments are special to me. However, when all is said and done, the most rewarding work of all has been the honor and privilege to serve as the leader of the most amazing group of men and women, sworn and non-sworn, in all of law enforcement. So many of them have demonstrated integrity and courage with a job that has changed considerably and a work environment that is filled with challenging personal and political dynamics. So many of these folks, these cops, dispatchers, crime lab employees and many others still find the way to answer the call, do good police work and be transparent, trustworthy and accountable to each other and the community.
I am grateful to our city leaders, including Mayor and Council and City management, who have supported me and our department these last several years. Thank you for trusting me with confidence to keep our city safe.
A personal note of gratitude for my three men: Cody, Alan and Big Cody. I am blessed by them and eternally grateful to have their love and support.
So what’s next? My last day will be sometime this summer. I know there is going to be speculation and questions about where I am going and what I’m going to do next. All of that comes later. For the time being, there is nothing more important to me than working with City management as we develop a transition plan.
Finally, here’s what I want you to know: I’ve been a cop for 33 years. I still feel extremely proud and honored to put a badge and uniform on every day as a symbol of the oath I took in 1989 to serve and protect our community. It has been my extreme honor to serve this city and department as your Phoenix Police Chief.
Thank you and God Bless –
Chief Jeri Williams