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Phoenix PD announces interim chief coming from Baltimore Police Department

Michael Sullivan
Phoenix police logo
Posted at 11:12 AM, Jul 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-29 20:34:45-04

PHOENIX — Phoenix Police Department has announced an interim chief who will take the position on Sept. 12, 2022.

Michael Sullivan will take the interim position, according to the city. He currently serves as Deputy Commissioner of the Compliance Bureau for the Baltimore Police Department.

Sullivan is expected to remain interim chief for one to two years as the department continues the search for a permanent chief.

According to Phoenix officials, Sullivan began his career in law enforcement with the Louisville Metro Police Department. He was appointed Deputy Chief/Chief of Staff (second in command) in 2015. In 2019, he joined BPD as Deputy Commissioner.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in police administration and a master’s degree in the administration of justice from the University of Louisville.

“In the search for an interim Police Chief, it was my priority to identify a leader with the qualifications to guide the department through the DOJ investigation and propel the department forward,” said City Manager Jeff Barton in a press release. “Sullivan brings 27 years of law enforcement experience to the table, and he has led police reform efforts for major cities. His experience working in collaboration with communities, the DOJ, federal court and more gives me confidence he has the experience necessary to step into the interim Phoenix Police Chief role during this important time.”

Phoenix Law Enforcement Association released a statement Friday afternoon saying, "While PLEA was not afforded the opportunity to be a stakeholder in the process, we are committed to a collaborative and positive working relationship with Chief Sullivan. We look forward to meeting him in person very soon to discuss the pressing issues facing the department."

Sullivan will be taking the place of Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams, who announced her upcoming retirement in May, saying she would leave her position this summer.

Earlier this month, it was announced the Phoenix Police Department Executive Assistant Chief would be moving roles, making room for the new chief's executive team.

The Phoenix Police Department is currently under investigation by the Department of Justice. Last year, in August, the DOJ announced it would investigate Phoenix in the five following areas: Excessive and deadly force; discriminatory policing; retaliation against protesters; response to people in behavioral health crisis; and the treatment of those experiencing homelessness.