Interim Chief of Police Melissa Deanda was appointed to fill the role of Chief in January 2024, after the retirement of former Police Chief Sean Duggan.
Deanda joined the Chandler Police Department in January1999, making this her 24th year in policing. Inspired by a school resource officer during her high school years and eager to make a difference in her community, Chief Deanda started her career as a solo patrol officer. She then accepted a position as a Detective in the Narcotics Unit. While in this position Chief Deanda spent two years investigating state and local narcotics-related crimes, conducting multi-state narcotic investigations, and worked in an undercover capacity.
After completing her time in Narcotics, Chief Deanda returned to patrol for the next three years before accepting a position in the Criminal Apprehension Unit. Detectives assigned to this unit are responsible for locating and apprehending wanted suspects for misdemeanor and felony related crimes. Chief Deanda spent seven years in this unit before being assigned to the U.S. Marshals Violent Offender Task Force. This task force consists of local, state, and federal agencies who work together to locate and apprehend violent offenders across the state of Arizona.
In 2014, Chief Deanda was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and again returned to Field Operations, now as a Patrol Sergeant. A year later, she was selected as the Sex Crimes Unit Sergeant where she supervised detectives who investigated sexual and physical crimes against children. She was also involved with the Arizona Child Abduction Response Team (CART), which responds to investigations involving missing or abducted children.
In 2017, Chief Deanda was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and returned to Field Operations as a Watch Commander. She worked in this role for two years before being selected as the Lieutenant over Professional Standards in 2019. In this role, Chief Deanda was responsible for overseeing the department’s Hiring Unit, Internal Affairs, and Accreditation. In October of 2021, she was promoted to Commander in Field Operations and oversaw the Desert Breeze Precinct. In January of 2023, she received a promotion to Assistant Chief and began overseeing the Professional Services Division.
In addition to belonging to several professional organizations throughout her career, Chief Deanda has dedicated many hours of service to local non-profit groups and continues to be actively involved in the community. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies from Columbia Southern University and serves on a variety of committees and boards. She is also a graduate of the Senior Management Institute of Police (SMIP).
Chief Deanda will serve as Chandler’s interim Chief of Police until a new Chief is hired and sworn into office.