What's going on with the Phoenix Police Department's SWAT team?

Posted at 7:07 PM, May 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-25 22:54:08-04

The Phoenix Police Department has changed the leadership on its SWAT team and said the shakeup is part of a normal reorganization by its new chief.

The special unit will now be run by Commander Graden Carlson and Lieutenant Jay Johnson.

The ABC15 Investigators learned about the leadership change after multiple sources said the SWAT team has been sidelined in the last week over concerns involving a recent incident.

A police spokesman pushed back on the claim. In a statement, Sgt. Vince Lewis said the SWAT team is taking time to “train and team build.”

“We recently assigned a new commander and a new lieutenant to the unit and wanted the team to build a solid foundation,” the statement read. “As with any new chief there are usually changes and this is one of them. Chief Williams is confident in the abilities of the SWAT team and this department.”

Sources said the training for SWAT seems to have a connection to a shooting on May 15. It’s not clear what issue there may have been with the incident, if any.

A SWAT officer shot and killed an armed woman who police said was a danger to herself and others.

The woman was also sought by police in connection to a murder earlier that day.

Since, ABC15 has learned that Phoenix has used SWAT teams from other departments to handle incidents. Spokesmen for Phoenix and those departments say that’s not unusual because of the cities’ mutual aid agreements.

Contact ABC15 Investigator Dave Biscobing at