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McCoy: Improving community safety through innovation and leadership


I moved to Tempe from Alaska, trading months of long nights and freezing weather for Arizona’s record heat. I love this city and intend to stay here with the goal of improving public safety for our community and our first responders.

My vision for the Tempe Police Department is to become the most professional and compassionate agency in the country. Achieving this requires thoughtful planning, innovation, continuous training, and strong leadership.

Our commitment to professionalism includes embracing the tools of tomorrow. We are implementing a Real-Time Operations Center (RTOC), a cutting-edge version of the Real-Time Crime Centers used nationwide.

The RTOC integrates traffic cameras with public safety professionals, enabling us to assist first responders during incidents and review footage for evidence. These cameras can also be utilized for non-emergency purposes, like monitoring graffiti or assessing the condition of public areas.

By leveraging technology, we can enhance our ability to protect and serve the community more effectively.

We are also expanding our Vision Zero initiative to reduce serious injuries and fatalities at high-traffic intersections. We have already tripled these areas from four to 14 citywide, using increased patrols and prominent signage to encourage motorists to slow down, pay attention, and prioritize safety.

The lives and properties saved by this campaign make it indisputably worth the effort.

Last year, TPD responded to over 135,000 calls for service. We need to find ways to help us respond to calls safely and quickly and efficiently.

Technology like Real Time Operations Center, gun-shot detection and license plate readers are important to gather evidence of crimes. Those tools also save staff time and support the in-field work of our officers.

But technology only takes us so far. It's vital that our officers get to know the people in our community. When community members know their area patrol officers, they build relationships with them. This helps prevent crime and resolve issues faster.

I intend to prioritize community policing as a means to create a safer, friendlier city. When you see an officer at your neighborhood coffee shop, at a special event or on patrol, take a moment to say hello.

Last year, we saw a 40% reduction in violent crime in west Tempe. Overall, crime in our city was down from 2022. I hope to continue that trend.

As police chief, I am fully committed to leading TPD on a path of trust, accountability, and excellence. Together, we will build a better, safer future for Tempe, our community, and law enforcement as a whole.


A father of three, Chief Kenneth McCoy joined the Tempe Police Department in June 2023.