Our Mission: To provide a safe community where people can live, work, and thrive.
The Chandler Police Department employs 322 sworn officers and 161 civilians who serve a growing population of over 240,000 residents. There are five police facilities to meet the needs of the community: the Chandler Police Department Main Station, the Desert Breeze Substation, the Chandler Heights Substation, the Property & Evidence Building, and a newly built large vehicle storage building.
The Chandler Police Department is committed to being a world-class leader in law enforcement. We will pursue and engage the best trained, equipped, and committed professionals who demonstrate the highest standards of performance and best policing practices in partnership with the community.
After months of gathering input from community members and employees, the Department launched its new Strategic Plan in 2015. This plan outlines objectives towards meeting its five primary goals: prevent crime; provide effective police services; develop, strengthen, and sustain partnerships; develop personnel; and enhance infrastructure.
Each objective is assigned an “owner” who facilitates action and, on a monthly basis, reports progress towards achieving the objective.
The current Strategic Plan is anticipated to see the Department through to 2020. However, Department administrators are committed to reviewing the goals annually and adjusting as necessary.
In 2015, the Chandler Police Department served as the lead agency for the Arizona Child Abduction Response Team (AZ-CART). This multi-jurisdictional team is composed of over thirty agencies and approximately 280 team members. The Chandler Police Department is responsible for organizing, coordinating, and managing the team during critical incidents involving missing, endangered, and abducted children.
At the request of any law enforcement agency in the State, AZ-CART will deploy personnel and resources to support that agency’s operation. AZ-CART was deployed four times during this reporting period – twice to Mesa, once to Scottsdale, and once to Phoenix.
In addition to coordinating activations, the Department facilitates quarterly team meetings and training. “Patrol Response to Missing and Abducted Children” training was presented to the entire Department this year. Also, in an effort to provide service to agencies across the state, the Department provided “AZ-CART/ Missing and Abducted Children” training in the form of day-long courses. Agencies that benefited from this training include those in Safford, Page, Pinetop-Lakeside, and Kingman. Training was also presented to regional private security managers, the Arizona Homicide Investigators Association, and the FBI.
Recognizing a need for a formalized process to guide the direction of the team, the Department formed the AZ-CART Oversight Team. This team consists of representatives from participating agencies with the goal of addressing issues and concerns with the team’s overall performance and to identify and implement new protocols to improve the team’s response and efficiency.
On November 22, 2014, the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) awarded the Chandler Police Department the prestigious Gold Standard Assessment with Excellence. The Department is the first police agency in the state to receive such an honor. In order to attain the Gold Standard, the agency must be in compliance with 484 mandatory standards and also in compliance with over 90 percent of the optional standards. This was the department's 7th consecutive re-accreditation. In 1996, the Police Department sought out and received accreditation for the first time demonstrating its voluntary commitment to the highest standards of performance.
CALEA accreditation is an integral component of Chandler's professional reputation and assists us in our ability to help make Chandler one of the safest cities in the nation.
In April 2015, bike patrol officers and bike paramedics from around the world descended upon downtown Chandler for the 2015 International Police Mountain Bike Association (IPMBA) Conference. IPMBA is a non-profit educational organization providing resources, networking opportunities, and the most complete training for public safety bicyclists.
Headquartered out of Chandler’s San Marcos Golf Course, training topics featured at this conference included:
Additionally, live demonstrations and participative exercises were offered to attendees. Conference organizers were very complimentary of the Department’s efforts in hosting the event.
The Police Administrative Section is proud to announce that for 2014, the City of Chandler experienced a historic low crime rate:
Additionally, the City’s Part I Crime Rate was at its lowest point in 30 years. (Part I crimes are offenses that can be categorized as violent crimes or property crimes. Crime categories include murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, human trafficking–commercial sex acts, human trafficking–involuntary servitude, burglary, motor vehicle theft, larceny-theft, and arson.)
To meet its primary objective of preventing crime, the Department implemented crime suppression meetings so as to enhance investigative and prevention abilities through intelligence-led policing. The Department also expanded its interaction with the community through Twitter, Facebook, public safety meetings, and a community forum. From a crime fighting aspect, the Criminal Investigations Bureau assigned Investigative Analysts to each of the three CIB sections to provide tactical intelligence on gangs, drug syndicates, and other criminal groups. Also, the Department’s Teleserve Specialists were reclassified to Police Investigative Specialists and assigned to precincts to assist command staff with their crime fighting plans. Finally, the Community Resources Section decentralized its Crime Prevention Unit, and through the addition of a Crime Prevention Officer (CPO), is able to provide a dedicated CPO to each of Chandler’s three precincts.
Pertaining to the goal of providing effective police services, every member of police management has reviewed the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing Report. To better utilize the Department’s resources, the Operational Support Commander Bureau was created – charged with overseeing the Community Resources Section, Traffic Enforcement, and the Impound Unit. To facilitate an efficient arrest process, in late 2014, the Chandler and Gilbert Police Departments opened the Gilbert-Chandler Joint Holding Facility.
Towards the Department’s efforts to develop, strengthen, and sustain partnerships, a Chandler School Resources Officer (SRO) was added to Summit Academy. The Department now has SROs in every high school and middle school in the City. This year, the Department formed an LGBT liaison committee to help strengthen relations with LGBT communities through education and communication. On a research front, the Department met with the ASU School of Criminology and Criminal Justice to assist with the anticipated implementation and evaluation of body worn cameras. Finally, the Department hosted the Annual Police Explorer Competition with nearly 800 attendees.
To the ends of developing personnel, the Department developed its first supervisor school. Additionally, police command staff attended “Bias of Privilege” training facilitated by the Tempe Police Department. Over the course of this fiscal year, 21 employees were promoted.
The Department’s final goal of enhancing infrastructure was approached through the testing of body worn cameras by patrol officers. As a result, the Department hopes to implement wide-scale use of cameras by 2016. Other technological enhancements include the installation of radio frequency scanners and mobile printers in patrol vehicles as part of the police mobile office project, and the introduction of non-emergency text messaging to the Department’s dispatch center. The Department also completed a multi-year Facilities Masterplan for the optimization of the use of space and to plan for new facilities and space needs. Twelve projects were identified as priorities. This year, the Department hired 35 new officers and 21 civilian staff members.
Other achievements of the Chandler Police Department include the successful receipt of CALEA re-accreditation for the sixth time. Also, the Forensic Services Section successfully completed ASCLD/LAB reaccreditation. This year also saw the introduction of a new police badge – replacing a design that was implemented in 1980.
This year the Media Relations Unit issued its first ever "Silver Alert." Fortunately, 71-year-old Michael McNally later returned to his home in good health.
Silver Alerts are a valuable tool for law enforcement to use to locate missing endangered adults.
In order for a Silver Alert to be issued, specific criteria must be met:
When these criteria are met, the Media Relations Unit works with the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Department of Transportation, and local media to issue the alert.
The Professional Standards Section (PSS) includes the Internal Affairs Unit and the Backgrounds & Audits Unit and is supervised by the PSS Commander. The goal of PSS is "to instill citizen and employee confidence in the Department by maintaining professional standards of the Department and its employees." The Chandler Police Department has participated in Commission Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) for over 15 years. CALEA standards are a nationally recognized standard of best practices in police organizations. The Department's participation in CALEA, coupled with our internal policies, helps to create a strong foundation to provide the high level of service our citizens expect from us and we demand from each other.
The Internal Affairs Unit oversees the handling of all internal investigations, as well as internal and external complaints. The unit is composed of a sergeant and an administrative assistant. The unit currently uses a software product called IAPro to manage the internal investigations and properly manage timelines that are required by state statute. IAPro also provides an early warning system which was developed with the employee in mind. The early warning system activates an "alarm" when an employee receives any combination of alleged complaints, sustained complaints, uses of force, etc. It is then incumbent on the supervisor to provide a level of assistance for the employee to avoid any future issues and help to maintain the Department standards.
The Background & Audits Unit handles all aspects of recruiting, backgrounds, and audits. The unit comprises a sergeant, three detectives, and a CALEA manager. They conduct both scheduled and unscheduled audits throughout the Department on a regular basis. The purpose of these audits is to ensure quality control and to confirm that department and CALEA standards are met. In November 2014, Chief Sean Duggan, Commander Jason Zdilla, and CALEA Manager Beth Medrano accepted the Department's 7th consecutive accreditation, as well as the prestigious Gold Award, at the annual awards banquet held in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
This unit also handles all of the hiring and background needs for the Department. In December 2014, Detective Mark Stevens graduated from the Academy of Polygraph Science, and now is the Department's first certified, in-house Polygraph Examiner. Detective Stevens not only handles polygraph exams for prospective new employees, but can also accommodate requests for criminal polygraph examinations. Detective Stevens' polygraph skills have already proven to provide a higher level of service, greater accuracy and professionalism, and a cost savings to the Department for the future.
By investing in the future and maintaining best practices, the Chandler Police Department will continue to instill citizen and employee confidence in the Department and position itself as a world class organization.
The Police Property & Evidence Unit processes a wide variety of items that are seized in relation to investigations, found, or held for safekeeping. During this past fiscal year, there were over 18,500 items received and processed by staff, and over 15,500 items released or destroyed. The destroyed items included several hundred pounds of narcotics as well as several hundred pounds of biohazard items.
Bicycles were given to a number of charities during two bicycle give-away events this past year. A total of 197 bicycles were distributed among the participating charities.
The Records Unit receives requests for offense reports generated by police officers. Personal identifying information must be redacted before any offense report is released. During this past year, Records staff processed over 89% of these offense report requests within seven business days.
Each month, the Records Unit is required to validate each entry originated by the Chandler Police Department in the Arizona Crime Information Center and National Crime Information Center systems. Records personnel ensure that the entries for warrants, stolen vehicles, boats, and guns are valid, active, and that all records contain complete and accurate information. The Unit consistently met the monthly deadlines for validating this information.
With the creation of the Operations Support Bureau, the Desert Breeze Substation welcomed Commander Matt Christensen. The Police Department also started a precinct based Crime Prevention program and welcomed Officer Dan Chavarria as the Desert Breeze Crime Prevention Officer.
Over the past year, the Department formed a strong partnership with Macerich Properties and the Chandler Fashion Mall. As a result, the Department developed programs that included quarterly training for Chandler Fashion Mall security personnel. To date, the Department has provided training on how to safely approach potential suspects and on child abduction response. Future training includes practical exercises for active shooter, fire response, and missing children.
This year, Desert Breeze police officers conducted a community awareness program reminding Chandler citizens of the dangers associated with leaving children and pets in locked cars during the summer months. The program was entitled PAWS and will become an annual event.
The Chandler Police Department also recognized the public safety potential of sharing access to Chandler Fashion Mall's array of seventy plus cameras. The Department recently entered into a memorandum of understanding that will allow the Police Emergency Operations Center and Communications Section access to camera feeds when a significant event occurs at Chandler Fashion Mall.
A new technology project was launched out of Desert Breeze Substation called the "3SI" tracker program. The "3SI" tracker program enables Field Operation personnel to proactively apprehend criminals during the commission of thefts, residential burglaries, and vehicle burglaries.
New crime fighting technology was introduced into the Main Precinct this year. 3Si Security Systems allows the embedding of GPS technology onto just about any object. When removed from its intended location, the item can then be tracked. To date, Main Precinct officers deployed these tracking devices over 40 times with numerous resulting arrests.
SmartWater CSI, another emerging technology implemented at Main, not only allows law enforcement to identify stolen vehicle catalytic converters, but also helps to deter these thefts in the first place as criminals come to know of its existence. SmartWater is a forensic solution that carries a unique chemical code that embeds into the vehicle part, transfers onto tools used to remove the part, and sometimes spreads onto the person doing the removal. The Chandler Police Department was the first agency in the state to successfully utilize SmartWater CSI in the field.
As part of our continuing efforts to develop community partnerships, in May, the Main Precinct sent out introductory letters to all area faith based community leaders. After receiving numerous responses, Main Precinct Crime Prevention Office Tina Balsewicz scheduled several presentations for churches and other groups in the precinct.
Due to the extremely rapid hiring pace, the Department added “satellite” Field Training Officers (FTOs), whose primary function is to train new officers to work the streets of Chandler. As the number of new hires fluctuates, these satellite FTOs can be activated to train on an “as-needed” basis. The Department is also in the process of adding satellite Training Sergeants to help prepare the newly promoted sergeants. The Sergeant Field Training program was revamped and changed from two to four weeks in duration. The program now includes a more comprehensive training format to include overviews of the Criminal Investigations Bureau, the Special Assignment Unit, and canine training.
The Chandler Heights Precinct has worked diligently to enhance the quality of life in this rapidly growing part of the City, highlighted by the Department’s mission to provide a safe and secure environment. With this growth, the Chandler Heights Precinct has experienced an increase in business starts, general construction, and new subdivisions. The Department’s efforts are evidenced by projects in the neighborhoods entailing high visibility campaigns, HOA partnerships and community events.
This year, officers conducted a number of walking tours through the neighborhoods to contact residents. Additionally, personnel visited large commercial parking lots to hand out information about minimizing crime opportunities. The precinct’s activities have been featured in the News for Neighbors Newsletter from Neighborhood Programs, The Commander's Corner of the San Tan Sun News, and a message through the City’s HOA Academy, to name just a few.
Partnerships with an array of stakeholders like Walmart, Sunshine Valley, Dignity Health, and other businesses helped the Department to achieving its strategic goals. Crime prevention efforts increased through the designation of a Crime Prevention Officer to this precinct. As a result, community members are challenged to be active in the City’s crime fighting efforts.
Enhanced reporting and communications from the Department and an expansion of social media have been significant in reaching our citizens in South Chandler. Meeting law enforcement demands and staffing the southern part of the city remain ever present in future planning.
During Fiscal Year 2014-15, employees of the Crime Scene Unit received extensive training in advanced forensics and employee development. Crime Scene Unit employees also participated in the following events:
During Fiscal Year 2014-15, the Crime Prevention Unit has been progressing in terms of revising crime prevention programs and through the use of new computer based technology.
In January 2015, the Unit added a new Crime Prevention Officer in order to decentralize the function for the first time in the Department’s history. This move allowed placement of one Crime Prevention Officer (CPO) at each precinct along with newly reclassified Police Investigative Specialists. The new model allows the CPO and the Investigative Specialists to work with the precinct commander in order to effectively deal with area crime trends.
The goal of each CPO is to continue to develop new and ongoing community partnerships with local businesses and with other community organizations. As stated in the Department’s Strategic Plan, these partnerships are essential in order to disrupt and combat crime.
The CPOs implemented a new computer program for home and business security surveys. Utilizing iPads when in the field, they conduct the survey, compile photos and recommendations, then email the resulting survey forms to the home or business owner. This cutting edge technology not only increases productivity, but also demonstrates professionalism.
Over the past year, the Crime Prevention Unit assisted and trained members of the Department’s Media Relations Unit on the effective use of the Department’s social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter.
On a final note, the Unit coordinated Department-wide training for sworn personnel about the Department’s Crisis Intervention Team (CIT), which is assigned to Crime Prevention Sergeant Greg Howarth. The CIT training is a collaborative effort with the Scottsdale, Mesa, and Gilbert Police Departments along with many behavioral health organizations. The goal is to provide the best possible and up-to-date information pertaining to mental health issues.
Fiscal Year 2014-15 kept the Firearms Training Unit’s three employees busy with evaluations, qualifications, inventory monitoring, ammunition and weapons orders, and firearms maintenance. Additionally, Unit members had the opportunity to train a number of new officers. To facilitate a more seamless process in the lateral transfer of officers from other agencies, a new step was added to the lateral hiring process. In-state and out-of-state lateral applicants are now required to shoot an Arizona Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) qualification course. Results of this qualification shoot are factored into the hiring process.
Encouraging partnerships with other agencies remains a priority. During this past year, the Unit invited the Mesa and Apache Junction Police Departments, the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, the Attorney General’s Office, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to utilize Chandler’s range and shoot house for training.
The Unit has been deeply involved in the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) program, which is a valuable tool to develop evidence for crimes involving firearms. In this process, Unit members test guns that are seized as evidence or are set for destruction. Unit personnel fire three rounds and collect the casings so they can be compared to other casings in the NIBIN system. The Unit test fired at least 200 firearms this past fiscal year to help support the NIBIN program.
Other accomplishments include the following:
The Unit is dedicated to helping citizens as well as employees. Employees provided firearms simulator training to two youth academies and two citizens’ academies. They also participated in the annual “Getting Arizona Involved in Neighborhoods” (GAIN) event and provided tours of the range during the Department’s annual open house. During the annual Explorer Competition, the Unit hosted three events: a shooting competition at the range; a “Hogan’s Alley” exercise in the shoot house; and a simulated scenario at the Department’s new simulator facility. The Unit also presented a firearms safety course and simulator training for citizens.
This past year, the Unit was fortunate enough to receive funding for a new “use-of-force” simulator. The Ti Training Simulator was purchased. It utilizes real firearms with drop-in laser kits, carbon dioxide for the recoil, and Dolby Surround Sound for the gun fire. There are over 500 scenarios for the simulator with 25 new evolutions sent to the Unit each quarter.
The range underwent facility testing by an industrial hygienist to help address range performance issues. Several City Departments met to develop a remediation plan. Improvements are scheduled to occur over Fiscal Year 2015-16.
The Community Services Section currently has ten certified police officers that serve as School Resource Officers (SROs) for the Chandler, Kyrene, and Mesa Public School Districts. These officers are assigned to secondary schools located throughout Chandler for the entire school year. The schools served by these officers include Chandler High, Hamilton High, Basha High, Bogle Junior High, Andersen Junior High, Willis Junior High, San Tan Junior High, Summit Academy, Pueblo Middle School, and Aprende Middle School. All of the SRO positions are grant funded through the Arizona Department of Education. Seven SRO grant positions are in the Chandler Unified School District, two in Kyrene School District, and one in Mesa Public Schools District.
The SROs provide an individual service to the parents, students, and staff of the schools they serve. First, they provide an enforcement presence on campus and take the appropriate police action when needed. Second, they serve as a resource to the school’s counseling and attendance staff and are routinely called upon to talk to students and investigate a variety of calls. Most importantly, the officers serve as a classroom resource providing Law Related Education (LRE) classes covering topics ranging from substance abuse to constitutional law. This year, the SROs provided over 2,600 hours of LRE instruction, reaching approximately 26,000 students. They counseled over 2,000 students, making approximately 700 parent contacts, and attending 155 school meetings. Two members of the SRO Unit were recognized by the Arizona Department of Education and received the prestigious award of "LRE Officer of the Year."
The Wilderness Youth Experience Program facilitates interaction between “at risk” youths and the SROs, who serve as mentors while hiking and learning “no trace left behind” backpacking. This program incorporates instruction in the classroom with field experience of hiking in the White Mountains, Superstition Mountains, and mountains in Flagstaff, Arizona. A large part of the program focuses on team building, cultural diversity, decision making, leadership, and communication skills. In Fiscal Year 2014-15, four Wilderness Youth Experiences were completed, supporting 59 students from Chandler, Kyrene, and Mesa junior high schools. Students participating in this program have shown overall positive changes in their work habits, grades, and conduct.
Each year, the SRO Unit organizes week-long “Youth Academies” during school intersession and summer breaks. The Youth Academy was created to develop citizen awareness and an understanding of the role of law enforcement by providing Law Related Education. These classes introduce students to the different functions of the Chandler Police Department. Students participate in several activities designed to reinforce the lessons taught by each instructor. This insight provides each student with the opportunity to identify positive contributions they can make to their schools, homes, and community. This year, the SRO Unit hosted four Youth Academies and graduated over 100 students.
In Fiscal Year 2014-15, the Police Training Unit experienced a tremendous amount of change in responsibilities. With the completion of new training certifications, alterations in defensive tactic techniques, policy revisions, and mandatory training, the Training Unit has experienced an exciting and challenging transition.
From November 2014 to February 2015, the Chandler Police Department Training Unit certified nearly 300 officers in the use of the “Carotid Restraint Control Hold” technique. This training required that officers pass a written examination and receive classroom instruction on the proper application of the technique. The training concluded with a hands-on evaluation of the technique and a certification ceremony.
In January and June 2015, the Training Unit offered its first and second “Supervisor School.” Classes focused on skills that would allow a newly promoted supervisor to succeed in his or her duties as a first-line supervisor. The training also focused on leadership, communication, evaluations, “Use of Force” reporting, and motivating employees. Each course was acknowledged for its instruction, and class evaluations were very high.
In February 2015, the Firearms Training Unit and Training Unit held specialized quarterly briefing trainings to provide officers with valuable decision making exercises. During the first quarter, the Firearms Training Unit facilitated the training, which comprised exposure to the Ti-Simulator for firearm based training. Participants were allowed to work through several scenarios on the machine, while the Training Unit debriefed the participants about a recent officer-involved shooting in Flagstaff, AZ.
Between March 2015 and July 2015, the Training Unit hosted the inaugural “Chandler Police Leadership Cohort Class.” This class provided employees from throughout the Department with training on topics that included: DISC Personality Assessment; Institutional History and Culture; Motivating and Influencing Employees; Team Building; Decision Making; Customer Service; Conflict Management; Critical Thinking; and Leadership Development.
In April 2015, a group of Defensive Tactics Instructors (DT), Commander Zdilla, and Legal Advisor Tom Zaworski collaborated to re-write the “Use of Force Policy” for the department. The final product included a “Use of Force Philosophy,” clearer definitions on levels of force and levels of resistance, de-escalation policy, and restraint devices. The new policy was disseminated in briefing trainings around the stations by DT Instructors.
In May 2015, the Training Unit conducted 2nd Quarter Briefing Training which spotlighted “Reality-Based Scenario Training” in lethal force, less-lethal force, and de-escalation tactics. Each patrol sergeant was invited to have their team attend training, during which the sergeants were asked to complete the training and review their team’s performance. All participants provided positive feedback to the instructors and highlighted the need for more of this type of training.
Starting in April 2015, the Training Unit conducted the Advanced Officer Training (AOT) lecture portion of training. It contained training in Ethics, Crime Prevention, Homeland Security, Incident Command System, Arizona Child Abduction Response Team, Body Worn Cameras, and a Legal Update.
Throughout the year, the Training Unit staff worked closely with the Professional Standards Section Hiring Unit to provide recruit testing. Staff participated in oral boards, physical fitness testing, and pre-academy exercises. The Training Unit had approximately 37 new officers participate in pre-academy and then post-academy training this year.
The mission of the Volunteers in Policing Services (VIPS) program is to support members of the Chandler Police Department in providing police service and to promote community partnerships. During Fiscal Year 2014-15:
The community and the Police Department have greatly benefited from the efforts of the Chandler Police Department volunteers. They are an exceptional group of individuals committed to making a difference. The VIPS program makes every effort to develop and promote a positive working relationship between the volunteers, law enforcement, and the residents of the community.
The Burglary and Auto Theft (BAT) Unit investigated a number of significant cases in the past year.
Between January and March 2015, a spike of commercial burglaries occurred at medical and day spa businesses. These same types of burglaries were spiking throughout the Valley. Investigation led to suspect David Kirby Womack and his 12-year-old stepson. David was arrested for the burglaries and is still in jail awaiting trial. Twelve Chandler burglaries were cleared from this case. Womack was also charged by other agencies (seven at last count) for over 60 burglaries that occurred within their jurisdictions.
During 2014, there were a large number of commercial burglaries with the same modus operandi. The suspects removed the locking cylinder from the door to gain entry. Once inside, they stole cash registers. Christian Kirchhoff was arrested in July 2014 for multiple burglaries. After he bonded out of jail, the same type of burglaries began occurring again. Over the next several months, the BAT squad worked these cases. Through search warrants, surveillance, and GPS trackers, Kirchhoff and his accomplice, Nicholas Semonella, were arrested. Both suspects eventually pled to the crimes and received a sentence of multiple years in jail.
A large spike in vehicle burglaries began occurring along the I-10 corridor between Chandler Boulevard and Ray Road. The suspect used a device to "punch" through the vehicle’s door lock to gain entry to steal purses and car stereos. Tommy Ray Ruelas was identified as a suspect; and with the assistance of Department’s Criminal Apprehension Unit, he was located and arrested. Tommy was charged with multiple vehicle burglaries and booked into jail. Additionally, surveillance was done, and other subjects believed to have been involved in window smash burglaries in the area were contacted and interviewed. Subsequently, the vehicle burglary rate in the area has dramatically decreased.
In May 2015, a vehicle burglary occurred in Chandler and a purse was stolen. The victim’s credit cards and checks were used. The suspect also opened a credit account in the victim’s name and purchased nearly $12,000 worth of appliances. The victim's losses amounted to nearly $20,000. Detective Wiseman conducted the investigation, ultimately identifying Angela Swendra as the suspect. Angela was a career criminal with two prior stints in the Department of Corrections. Upon her arrest, search warrants were conducted, leading to the identification of 25 additional victims. As of this report, Angela is in jail with no bond.
During 2014, the Criminal Apprehension Unit (CAU) made 223 arrests, cleared 123 warrants, and generated 31 case reports – primarily narcotics and property crimes cases stemming from warrant and case apprehensions. During the first six months of 2015, the Unit made an additional 72 arrests, cleared 43 warrants, and generated 52 case reports.
Over the course of the last two years, the main focus of CAU’s “non-investigative” time has been utilized to assist the Narcotics and Human Trafficking Units with surveillance, security, and arrest teams.
While the main focus of the Unit’s collaborative efforts is within the Department’s Criminal Investigations Bureau, CAU has also continued to forge and maintain relationships with other units outside the Department. The Unit continues its relationship with the U.S. Marshals East Valley Violent Offender Task Force with CAU Detective Rob Englert nearly completing his first year as a task force member. Participating since 2008, this relationship benefits the Department primarily during high profile felony investigations. The added manpower during critical felony case work has been invaluable. Through the Department’s involvement with the U.S. Marshals Office, CAU participated in several annual warrant round-ups such as “Operation Grinch,” “Operation Justice,” and the annual domestic violence “warrant sweep.”
The Unit also forged solid working relationships with the Phoenix Police Department’s Neighborhood Enforcement Teams(NET), the Tempe Criminal Apprehension and Surveillance Team, Scottsdale Police Department’s High Enforcement Arrest Team, local U.S. Marshals Service and FBI teams, and Homeland Security’s Border Patrol Tactical Unit. The Unit also established a direct liaison with the Maricopa County Adult Probation Department’s Fugitive Apprehension Unit with the assignment of a probation officer to the East Valley. This assignment alone has aided in the investigation, location, and arrest of nearly half of the Unit’s cases.
The following are some of the significant cases investigated by the Criminal Apprehension Unit during this reporting period:
This fiscal year, a significant change to the Criminal Intelligence Unit (CIU) was the assignment of a detective to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. This resulted in an additional detective position to the Unit. There was also an agreement signed to provide staffing for the Southwest Border Desk at the National Operations Center in Washington DC. This rotation is scheduled to begin in late 2016. These assignments, as well as the Unit’s participation with the East Valley Fusion Center and the Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center, illustrate the Department’s continued support of interagency operations and information sharing.
Further personnel realignment has allowed for a more directed focus of the Department's intelligence capabilities. The creation of and participation in crime suppression meetings has provided a bi-weekly informational sharing forum. The Criminal Intelligence Unit will continue efforts to improve intelligence collection, analysis, and dissemination to Departmental personnel.
As a result of continued efforts to establish partnerships with businesses within the City of Chandler, CIU has thoroughly investigated crimes affecting businesses within the Chandler community.
While looking for a solution to staffing and case load issues, the Financial Crimes Unit came up with the idea to train civilians in its field - initially assisting with cases, but with a long term goal of having civilian investigators. A beta test was run; and in 2014, Nancy Thiry was selected to be the Unit’s first Investigative Specialist. Nancy’s efforts were immediately recognized and she is currently attending the same training that detectives go through. The Unit found this to be a cost effective way to increase staffing while providing opportunities for civilian employees to work on cases.
In efforts to foster working relationships with the officers of the Field Operations Section, detectives attended briefings to answer questions, assist with investigations, and provide training. Positive feedback from this interaction prompted subsequent “ride-alongs” with patrol officers so that Unit detectives could better understand the challenges faced on initial investigations. The results were reported as “astounding!” Participants were able to find solutions to some of the problems encountered. Additionally, partakers came away from the experience with a greater respect for each other’s jobs.
This year, the Financial Crimes Unit coordinated the "Criminal Investigations Bureau" week for all officers in the field training program. Unit member duties included meeting with each officer and scheduling them with several detective and support groups for the week. The detectives provided trainees with warrant/subpoena templates in order to learn to write their own court orders. Additional topics included information on how an investigation/case proceeds from start to finish, how to conduct follow-up investigations on cases, and a review of the many aspects of on-going investigations.
For Fiscal Year 2014-15, the Gang Enforcement Unit (GEU) began working with the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) during Operation GRIT (Gang Research Intelligence Targeting). This operation served several purposes: crime suppression, intelligence gathering within Chandler, and building a partnership with another agency. In 2014, approximately 130 subjects were arrested during the first four months. This operation continued into 2015 (Operation GRIT II), with 140 subjects arrested to date. As a result of social media posts indicating the presence of participants on the street, it is believed that crime is being deterred. 2015 notes the addition of another asset to the operation: an officer from the Gila River Police Department joined the team which establishes a partnership with and intelligence from a tribal agency that borders the City.
This year, the GEU began taking an interest in weapons-related cases resulting in the Unit's ability to assist patrol officers with potential threats.
The GEU also began working hand-in-hand with Probation employees to target probationers who are recidivist and those with gang terms. This effort has kept probationers in compliance with their probation terms. If they violate their terms, Probation is on-scene to investigate and possibly make an arrest. This saves time and adds a resource that allows the Unit to be more effective.
Since the beginning of 2015, the GEU has been tasked with training new officers during “selective enforcement week.” Unit members teach officers about pro-active techniques and how to develop intelligence and sources on the streets. Unit members are also teaching officers how and when to use discretion for the benefit of the community.
During Fiscal Year 2014-15, the Narcotics Unit split into two teams with the new team being renamed the Human Trafficking and Vice Unit. This split allows one unit to focus primarily on narcotics investigations, while all vice-related investigations are handled by the new team.
In February 2015, Detectives Russo and Oseroff became the first two members of the Human Trafficking and Vice Unit. Since being assigned to the unit, these detectives have conducted dozens of investigations which have resulted in as numerous arrests – the majority of which are class 2 felonies. To solidify the City’s commitment in the fight against human trafficking, the Chandler City Council approved two new Detective positions to be added in Fiscal Year 2015-16.
The Narcotics Unit, which consists of seven detectives, recently assigned a detective to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Phoenix Task Force. This is first time Chandler has had such a partnership with the DEA in almost a decade.
In 2014 the Narcotics Unit conducted dozens of prostitution stings which generated over 100 arrests. During the Super Bowl, members of the unit assisted the FBI with several operations Valley-wide targeting prostitution. During these operations, two juveniles were found to be prostituting against their will and were rescued from the lifestyle and returned home.
This year, a Narcotic Trained Officer (NTO) program was initiated. This program enables specially trained patrol officers to identify trends and individuals involved in the sales of narcotics. These NTOs are also trained on how to conduct patrol-based narcotics investigations – something that has traditionally been done by detectives.
This year, the Property Crimes Unit focused on bolstering working relationships with patrol officers. Unit members attended briefings bi-monthly in order to provide training on various investigative topics and to discuss current crime trends. The Unit also renewed a partnership with the Chandler Fire, Health and Medical Department in investigating arson calls. This Unit continues to improve relationships with other agencies, working several multi-agency cases with Mesa, Tempe, Phoenix, and Gilbert Property Crimes Units.
Two new technologies were introduced to the Unit this year. Detectives received training on “Carfax” which, when implemented, will provide vehicle history reports to desktop computers and smartphones. LeadsOnline, a pawn management/reporting database, was purchased. Area pawn shops and second-hand dealers will be able to enter data and photos into the system for immediate access by law enforcement.
A notable case worked this year involved burglaries occurring in south Chandler. Starting in September 2014, a pattern was identified in which several single family residences were being burglarized – involving theft of weapons, jewelry, and cash. On November 7, 2014, a suspicious vehicle was stopped in the area of McQueen and Chandler Heights Roads. Having been sighted in areas of previous burglaries, detectives went on to link the vehicle’s occupants – Shawnta Wilson and Armondo Dangerfield – as potential leads. Through thorough investigative efforts, not only did detectives tie these suspects to the south Chandler burglaries, but also cleared a number of cases out of Gilbert, Phoenix, Peoria, and Surprise.
In April 2015, members of the Robbery/Homicide Unit met with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office (MCAO) Cold Case Homicide Unit. This Unit comprises Deputy County Attorney Bob Schutz (Chief of the Major Felonies Bureau) and MCAO Investigators Dennis Olsen, Mike Meislish and Alex Femenia. The purpose of the meeting was to exchange ideas on how to best utilize the Cold Case Homicide Unit’s services for Chandler’s unsolved homicides.
The City of Chandler has approximately 38 homicides that meet the criteria for inclusion into the cold case homicide data bank that, per state statute, each police agency is required to maintain. As time and resources permit, these cases will be assigned based on solvability factors, such as potential for new forensic evidence based on technological advances or availability of witnesses that may provide new information.
It was decided that the best protocol would be to assign a Chandler detective to a cold-case homicide to thoroughly review it and create a “task list.” Once completed, the Robbery/Homicide Unit and the MCAO Cold Case Unit would meet to discuss investigative strategies and delegate assignments, such as follow-up interviews and crime lab work. The potential of this partnership cannot be overstated. It brings in resources, expertise, and experience to the Chandler Police Department that may not otherwise be available.
The Chandler Police Department Special Assignment Unit (SAU) is specially trained and utilized in exceptional instances when other than standard police procedures and weapons are required. SAU has the responsibility of responding to critical incidents. The philosophy of SAU is that every decision is made with the preservation of life constituting the first priority of any devised strategy. This philosophy guides our training and ensures operational decisions strive to obtain peaceful resolutions, whenever possible.
SAU participated in some notable events over the past year that demonstrated their capability and enhanced their readiness to respond to critical incidents. The Unit was chosen to assist with on-site security, threat response, and working with the Tactical Operations Center at the 2015 Super Bowl in Glendale, Arizona. Also this year, the Unit participated in a multi-agency training exercise held at Perry High School that was designed to increase interoperability among regional partners. SAU also partnered with Intel, the City’s largest employer, to conduct a large scale training exercise based upon a response to workplace violence. Participation in these types of operations and large scale training events ensures that the Chandler SAU is prepared to respond to and resolve critical incidents.
This year, the Family Crimes Unit and the Sex Crimes Unit merged and are now collectively named the Special Victims Unit (SVU). This name was chosen as it truly identifies the Unit’s client base. Further, dropping the specific Unit names will diminish stigma. Members from each discipline still focus on either sexually motivated crimes or family and domestic violence-related crimes; however, they are in the process of cross training and now respond to either crime type during call outs. Joining forces allows for better service, more collaboration, and use of "best practices."
The International Association of Chiefs of Police honored the Chandler Police Department’s Victim Services Unit with the Excellence in Victim Services Award for its innovative, victim-centered methods and use of collaborative partnerships. This past year, the Unit worked with nearly 1,000 Chandler residents and visitors of all ages whose lives were disrupted by a traumatic event. The Unit’s four Crime Victim Advocates addressed victims’ safety needs, provided education and support services for assistance during family, civil and criminal justice processes, and connected them with long term community resources for additional support. The Unit worked with various sections of the Department to include Patrol, Special Victims Unit, Human Trafficking Unit, Financial Crimes Unit, Robbery Unit, and Homicide Unit. Along with partners in criminal justice and social services agencies, the Advocates provided services to help victims cope with distressing effects of crime and ultimately to reduce the risk of re-victimization. This multidisciplinary team approach continues to be beneficial to the individual victims and the community as a whole.
The Planning & Research Unit has much to report this year. First, the Police Department, in partnership with the Municipal Utilities Department, constructed a joint Municipal Utilities Maintenance and Police Specialty Vehicle Storage Facility. It is located behind the Surface Water Treatment plant located on Pecos Road, east of McQueen Road. The Police Department’s area provides 3,500 square feet of storage space for police vehicles, such as the command van, DUI command van and radar trailers. The Police portion consists of four bays, two of which are drive-through bays.
In 2013, the Department commissioned McClaren, Wilson and Lawrie to complete a facility study to include projections for police facility needs through City build-out, anticipated for some time in the 2030s. This study included very detailed interviews and workshops with staff in an effort to determine staffing and facility growth needs. In July 2014, the Chandler Police Department Facilities Masterplan was completed. The Department now has a guideline in place to consider when planning facilities. As a result, twelve projects and a number of facility recommendations have been identified.
This year, the Crime Analysis & Research Unit (CARU) and the Criminal Investigations Bureau began hosting bi-weekly “Crime Suppression Meetings” at the Main Police Station. These meeting provide a regularly scheduled forum for sharing information and resources. If a crime trend or pattern is noticed, open dialogue ensues to determine what is currently being done and what can be done to help address the issue or solve the case. Crime Suppression Meetings have been attributed with assisting in the identification and arrests of prolific offenders as well as initiating successful public awareness campaigns. These meetings are open to all employees. Feedback from the meetings has been very positive with a common theme of how beneficial it is to bring the various divisions and units of the agency together to discuss current crime trends and patterns.
This year, CARU purchased BAIR Analytics crime analysis tools – used to provide predictive crime analysis. BAIR’s technology tools have been used by law enforcement for more than 20 years. As a result of this purchase, a one-year contract embedded a BAIR crime analyst, Emelia Cowan, within the agency. Emelia is a trained and certified Crime Analyst through BAIR Analytics. She has been providing training in advanced analytical techniques and methodologies to existing CARU staff.
In July 2014, the Department sought the assistance of the Tempe Police Department in the development of an updated Strategic Plan. Tempe PD has a long-standing strategic plan model that the Chandler PD wished to emulate. As a result, the Department’s current mission statement, “To provide a safe community where people can live, work and thrive,” was conceived. Additionally, five goals, 19 objectives and 90 strategies have been identified. Strategy “owners” report monthly progress towards completion. With this Strategic Plan in place, the Department has a “roadmap” of sorts to guide Department employees towards meeting the overall goals of preventing crime, providing effective police services, developing, strengthening and sustaining partnerships, developing personnel and enhancing infrastructure.
Throughout the year, a number of building structure “touch-ups” have occurred at the 16-year-old Main Station. This year, flooring in the Records Section and adjacent hallway was replaced. Approximately 20 cubicles and office spaces have been re-configured. Multiple areas have been painted. The main stairwell also received a fresh, new look. New furniture has been installed in Forensic Services and chairs in Briefing and De-briefing have been recovered. With the implementation of the Department’s new strategic plan, the Police Chief wanted to remind employees about the overall mission of the Department. For this reason, the Department’s Mission Statement is discernibly posted in the station’s Community Room and the main hallway next to the patrol briefing room.
In FY 14-15, Chandler Police Communications saw the addition of new technology to better support service efficiencies. In March a system called ASAP to PSAP (Automated Secure Alarm Protocol to Public Safety Answering Point) was implemented. Traditionally, when a home or business alarm activation occurs, the alarm company calls the police non-emergency phone number and an emergency call taker enters the information into the dispatch computer.
This new ASAP to PSAP interface allows alarm monitoring companies to enter the alarm activation information directly into the dispatch computer. By circumventing the phone process, the police response time can begin up to three minutes sooner. In addition, if there is follow-up communication required between the police department and the alarm company, it is handled similar to instant messaging between the alarm company and the dispatcher. This new format allows for near instant information exchange.
Text and picture messaging into the police department’s non-emergency phone number (480-782-4130) was also implemented in this fiscal year. This service allows community members to make general inquiries and report non-emergent calls for service via text messaging. It will also allow members of the hearing impaired community to contact the police department directly, and without the assistance of a third party. As the usage of this system develops, it will put the police department in a progressive position in preparation of Next Generation 911 technology.
The 2014-15 year brought many changes to the Police Department. Federal changes to Criminal Justice Information System security required the Department to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7 which also coincided with the citywide replacement of desktop computers. This was fortunate as the existing hardware was between 6 and 8 years old – well beyond usable life expectancy. The new computers were well received by employees and are working well. The Police Technology Section, with assistance from Police Planning & Research employees, worked hard to test and implement the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) functionality in the Department’s records management system. The process has been long and arduous, but is seeing positive results that should assist in providing useful information internally as well as meeting reporting requirements to state and federal entities.
PDInfo, a new internal single source of Department personnel information, became available this year. This internally developed program will continue to grow as it becomes the Department’s single source for all non-RMS information.
Police Technology continues to work to expand the relationship and collaborative efforts with City Information Technology. Successes include the joint efforts in establishing network connectivity to the Chandler/Gilbert holding facility project, developing network infrastructure to support MDC units, certifying City IT personnel – which enables them to work with police information systems - and collaborating on the Department’s mobile office pilot project.
In December 2014, the Chandler and Gilbert Police Departments opened the Gilbert-Chandler Joint Holding Facility, a groundbreaking effort in the arena of multi-agency cooperative efforts. This particular project was over two years in the making and involved many people from both cities, in a number of departments, which included Police, Records, Detention, Legal, Professional Standards, Planning & Research, Police Technology, and Streets Division. Through the dedication of everyone involved, realization of the goal of a joint holding facility was obtained – a goal that afforded improvements in a number of critical areas:
When the facility opened, detention employees from both agencies were combined with a further commitment from each agency to increase the number of detention officers and supervisory positions. Today, the facility has a total of 15 detention officers and four supervisors. In the first several months of operation, there has been a significant increase in the number of offenders being booked due to the ease of the new booking process. While it has taken time for people to become accustomed to the new process, positive feedback has been received. Facility employees continue to make adjustments based on comments by the end-users, and maintain a commitment to seek new and innovative ways to improve.
Annually, the Chandler Police Awards Program recognizes the extraordinary individual and collaborative accomplishments of members of the Department.
Financial Crimes Unit
Sergeant Mark Gluzinski, Detectives Bob Lenz, Jeremiah Stout, Jason Schouten, Steve Pfeifer, Ron Moore, Mike Moore, and Investigative Specialist Nancy Thiry
Patrol Team 2
Sergeant Ray Kieffer, Officers Leonard Bettendorf, Loranda Tibble, Gene Campbell, Jeffrey Del Nero, Cornathan Eckwood, Nicole Cockerham, Keith Aguiar, and Emma Bribiescas
Patrol Team 8
Sergeant David Ramer, Officers Brad Carroll, Phil Robinson, Mark Jordan, Scot MacKenzie, Sara Rozema, Noah Dueker, William Walker, and Josh Cohen
Katie Cain, Jean Watson, Denise Allen, and Veronica Viera
Patrol Team 7
Sergeant Jeff Okonowski, Officers Michael Prendergast, David Parsons, David Pilkington, Ashley Lewis, Nicholas Boos, Gregory Thudium, Tina Balsewicz, Brian Morganthaler, Nanette Rathers, and Jessica Mikita
Thank you for your dedicated service.
|Area (Square Miles)||70||70||70|
|Calls for Service||137,482||145,400||139,177|
Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) is a collective effort by city, county, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies to present a nationwide view of crime. Agencies throughout the country participate in the FBI UCR Program and provide monthly summarized reports on ten Part I offenses known to law enforcement and reports on persons arrested. The Part I offenses - murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, human trafficking/commercial sex acts, human trafficking/involuntary servitude, burglary, motor vehicle theft, larceny-theft, and arson - are considered indicators of the level of crime occurring within the United States.
|Part One Offenses||2007||2008||2009||2010||2011||2012||2013||2014||2015||2016||2017||2018||2019||2020||2021|
|HT-Commercial Sex Acts (2)||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||1||0||3||5||0||2||0||0|
|HT-Involuntary Servitude (2)||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Motor Vehicle Theft||832||802||483||380||334||256||279||228||256||393||372||317||377||437||388|
|Index per 1,000||35.4||35.3||32.6||32.4||34.1||30.2||26.9||25.2||23.8||26.9||25.3||23.3||22.8||20.5||18.9|
|Priority 1 - Total Count||17,652||18,322||19,371|
|Priority 1 - Response Time||6:21||6:15||6:21|
|Priority 2 - Total Count||23,965||21,499||21,632|
|Priority 2 - Response Time||17:34||17:21||17:18|
|Priority 3 - Total Count||62,010||20,186||19,359|
|Priority 3 - Response Time||37:30||43:17||49:08|
|Property & Evidence||$408,950||$423,429||$430,981|
|Planning & Research||$986,065||$1,133,401||$1,150,366|
|Community Resources & Training||$3,201,707||$3,505,967||$3,943,826|
On October 28, 2014, Officer Bryant Holmes, a five-year veteran of the Chandler Police Department, was involved in a fatal traffic collision at the intersection of Recker and Baseline Roads in Gilbert, Arizona. Officer Bryant was on his way in to begin his shift at the Department.
Bryant was born and raised in Mesa, Arizona, with his sister and three brothers. He graduated from Mountain View High School in 1998. After a two-year mission in Ecuador, where he became a fluent Spanish speaker, he went on to Rio Salado and Mesa Community Colleges, studying business management and criminal justice.
Bryant married the love of his life, Stephanie, and four beautiful children followed: Daughter Ashlyn, sons Randon and Dallin, and finally little Evelyn. Jobs at Kentucky Fried Chicken, Mangos Café, Bank of America, and Direct Alliance Corporation were stepping stones on his path to his dream career as a Chandler Police Officer in 2009, a profession he had always respected and admired. He consistently demonstrated his problem-solving skills in response to the wide-ranging calls for service.
As a patrol officer, Bryant was able to use his Spanish as one of the Department’s certified translators, a key role in calming many situations and providing concise communication with many Chandler residents.
In addition to receiving a number of citizen commendations over the course of his career, Bryant and Team 11 were honored as the 2011 Patrol Team of the Year for their pro-active approach to policing their downtown beat and for their community involvement.
Bryant’s friends would tell you that he loved mountain and road biking and that he was a walking encyclopedia when it came to fancy cars. But everyone who knew Bryant knew his true devotion was to God and his LDS Church, and to his beautiful family.
On October 31, 2014, Officer David Payne was riding his police motorcycle when he was struck and killed by a drunk driver. David dedicated his career to traffic enforcement and to the removal of impaired drivers from the roadway.
David began volunteering with the Chandler Police Department in 2002 and became one of the first certified phlebotomists to do blood draws for DUI investigations. In 2004, he was hired as a Detention Officer and began his career with the City. Three years later he was hired as a Police Officer. After graduating from the Arizona Law Enforcement Academy in 2007, he worked as a Patrol Officer on various shifts. In June 2013, he transferred to the Traffic Unit, which was his dream job.
David had a passion for removing impaired drivers from the roadways and had arrested nearly 400 DUI drivers since 2007. In 2012, he was awarded the Lifesaving Award for responding to a motorist who was having a medical emergency.
David was a certified instructor for both the "Drug Recognition Expert" and "Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus" programs and was appointed as the Department’s Phlebotomy Coordinator. He was highly respected within the DUI enforcement community.
On the night of the incident, David was preparing for a full and busy weekend of drill with the National Guard and several nights of DUI task force over the Halloween weekend. He knew he had two important obligations and he would not give up one for the other, so he planned to do both. David epitomized what it is to be a motor officer and a soldier, and he would do both to the best of his abilities.
David is remembered as a beloved son, a dedicated, loving father, and a friend to many here at the Chandler Police Department and across the valley. Officer David Payne made the ultimate sacrifice and is awarded with the Purple Heart.