A new deputy is coming to town, as Queen Creek ramps up its efforts to have its own police department in place by January 2022.
In March, the Town Council approved measures to move forward on the long-awaited creation of the Queen Creek Police Department.
“The Town Council has been planning for this transition for quite some time as the community has grown,” said Mayor Gail Barney.
Some residents were aware this was coming down the pike but were surprised by the rapidly evolving timeline.
“I knew it was happening but had not heard that the goal was to have patrols patrolling by January 2022. That could likely be me not researching it nor paying full attention, but I am excited for Queen Creek to have their own police department and fully support them,” says Michael Davidsen of Queen Creek.
Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is the current law enforcement presence in Queen Creek.
Council members sing MSCO praises and say that there is no love lost pushing this transition forward, but merely it is just time for the community to have its own department as it continues to grow.
Residents of the community are grateful to the job that MCSO has done for them, but they are more than ready for this transition to happen.
“It’s a great move forward, a better way for a community to have direct involvement and ‘ownership.’ When MCSO patrols multiple cities, there is no true relationship,” says Stacy Dyer, a resident of Queen Creek.
The chief of police, Randy Brice, was announced on June 26. Chief Brice comes to QCPD with an extensive career in law enforcement including serving MSCO, retiring at the rank of captain. He joined the Gilbert Police Department as a commander; and served as an interim chief of police and as the assistant chief of police over the Investigation-Support Bureau. He also has several certifications including drug recognition expert, emergency medical technician and paramedic.
For residents of Queen Creek wondering what this means for them financially and if this will raise taxes, the mayor calms those fears by explaining that the Town Council has been “fiscally conservative” and additional planning has helped make sure that during these difficult times the residents of Queen Creek will not feel it in their pocketbooks.
“Establishing the QCPD did not involve any tax increases. The 2020-21 budget includes $2.8 million for initial positions and start-up capital costs including technology and software. Moving forward, the town will use a combination of the existing public safety property tax revenues and growth in the operating budget,” said Mayor Barney.
It takes a lot to get a police department up and running, but with everything that has already been accomplished, the mayor feels like there shouldn’t be any delays in having those patrol cars on the street at the beginning of 2022.
“The first 60 days have been very productive. At this point, we aren’t aware of any items that would set us back,” said Mayor Barney.
For more information about the QCPD, go to queencreek.org.
Editor’s note: Laura Sheridan is a journalism student with Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University and is a resident of the Southeast Valley.