Mesa appoints interim police chief after Batista resignation


An interim chief has been appointed to replace Mesa police chief Ramon Batista, a day after he resigned amid a local police union's vote of no-confidence in him.

In a release, the city of Mesa announced Tuesday morning that Assistant Chief Ken Cost will serve as interim police chief effective immediately.

"Appointing Assistant Chief Cost to this position was an easy decision based on his extensive law enforcement experience, knowledge of, and relationships with, the community and tenure with Mesa Police." City Manager Chris Brady stated. "I am fully confident in his ability to lead this department professionally and with the utmost integrity, transparency, and commitment."

Mr. Cost has been with the Mesa Police Department for nearly 25 years since starting his career in 1995, a release states. He has served in several areas of the department and in every rank leading up to assistant chief.

Some of his assignments included Special Investigations - Gang Unit, Community Action Team, Street Crimes, Violent Offender -U.S. Marshal's Task Force and Criminal Investigations (Homicide, Financial Crimes, and Recovered Property).

As a commander, his assignments included Fiesta Patrol, Human Resources and Training. He was promoted to assistant chief in March 2018, heading the Patrol Operations Bureau.

"I am honored to be asked to serve in this position and especially to continue to work in and for this community I love." Mr. Cost stated. "I am also humbled to lead, and to work side by side with, the amazing men and women of the Mesa Police Department in protecting and serving the residents of Mesa."

According to the release, Mr. Cost holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from California State University at Fullerton and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy for Police Executives.

He will be completing his master's degree in Criminal Justice Administration early next year. Mesa officials say Mr. Cost is very active in the community and volunteers numerous hours throughout the year coaching and mentoring youth.