PHOENIX - Former Chief Jack Harris' retirement was unexpected for city officials.
Harris has served the Phoenix Police Department for 39 years, working his way up from a street police officer in 1972 to Safety Manager in charge of Police, Aviation, Public Transit and Water Departments.
"That's not usual for big city departments like Phoenix where someone goes from the front lines to chief and public safety manager," said Phoenix Assistant City Manager Ed Zuercher.
Now, the search for a new police chief will fall on the shoulders of the city manager.
Zuercher says the city will conduct a nationwide search as well as consider internal candidates.
Meanwhile, Interim Police Chief Joe Yahner, who was put in place of Harris when he was taken off his day-to-day duties, will remain in that position.
"We have time to do the search right, thoughtfully and reasonably," Zuercher said.
City leaders say they are still determining what qualities they will look for in their next police chief.
"From my perspective what we need to do is make sure the focus is on the public and the public's concerns come first," said Councilman Sal DiCiccio.
"Phoenix is one of the largest departments in the country and that comes with a lot of pressure," Zuercher said.
The city manager was out of town Friday, so there's no word yet on when the search for a police chief will officially begin.
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