PHOENIX - Phoenix Fire Chief Bob Khan said Wednesday he will be retiring next month to spend more time with his ailing father.
Khan will retire on February 28, after 32 years with the department.
Khan, 54, said in a letter to department employees that his father has been ill for some time and that he wants to spend more time with him while he can.
Khan joined the department in 1982 and has been chief since 2006.
He said the department has worked through "unprecedented" challenges in the last few years and "have become a better department as a result."
Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio said Khan has done great things for the city as fire chief. But, he thinks whoever replaces him should come from outside the department.
"You have to bring in new ideas, new blood that gets you away from a culture that's already in place. So, I think it's time now to look at someone from the outside to be coming in," said DiCiccio.
The department has come under fire recently for a number of reasons, including a sexual harassment case within the department two years ago and a nearly $100,000 citation from the Industrial Commission of Arizona after
firefighter Brad Harper was killed after being pinned between two emergency vehicles.
In his resignation letter, Khan admits his department has faced and overcome unprecedented challenges in the last few years, but he said they have become better as a result.
Khan's last day will be February 28. An acting fire chief will be appointed by the city manager before Khan's retirement, according to the department.