4
| News |

Jack Harris No Longer Overseeing Phoenix PD; Acting Police Chief Joe Yahner Taking Over Day-to-Day Operations in Wake of Kidnapping-Stats Scandal (Updated)

^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Public Safety Manager Jack Harris  retains some of his duties as police chief, but Executive Assistant Police Chief Joe Yahner becomes Acting Police Chief in the wake of a scandal over inflated border-related kidnapping statistics reported to the federal government, it was announced today.


Phoenix City Manager David Cavazos' office said Harris will have oversight of homeland security issues (as New Times previously reported) and of security of City Hall and other municipal buildings.
 
There weren't many other details released, other than that city officials' plan to organize a panel of experts to review the police department's kidnapping stats and record-keeping processes.



Assistant City Manager Ed Zuercher said the panel will complete a review of Harris' situation in 60 days. He said, until that review is complete, it won't be clear whether Harris' move becomes permanent.
Zuercher said he is confident there was no fraud involved, that kidnapping statistics were not inflated to obtain federal funding.
 

Mark Spencer, president of the Police Law Enforcement Association, which represents rank-and-file Phoenix cops, alleges that police managers intentionally inflated border-related kidnapping statistics to get federal grants.

 
Zuercher suggested that inaccurate stats could be the result of sloppy record-keeping or mistakes.
 
Harris stood behind Cavazos during the first few minutes of the press conference, his face expressionless. When the announcement was made, he and Yahner walked out of City Hall room where media gathered.
 
Cavazos said he asked Harris not to comment on the matter.
 
When Cavazos was pressed as to why he wouldn't allow Harris to comment, even though he  said the process would be open and transparent, Cavazos turned to Zuercher, who only explained more about the review process.

The Phoenix Police Department later issued the following information on Yahner:

Joseph Yahner was born and raised in Phoenix and has been with the Phoenix Police Department for approximately 26 years.  Joe's formal education includes an undergraduate degree from Arizona State University and a Masters degree from the University of Phoenix.  Throughout his career, he has worked in several Patrol Precincts and a variety of specialty assignments.  

He was promoted to commander in 1999 and has been assigned to the City Manager's Office, Traffic Bureau, Property Crimes Bureau, and the Maryvale Precinct.  In 2007, he was promoted to Assistant Chief and assigned to the Homeland Security Division where he had overall responsibility for the Super Bowl, NBA All-Star game, and opening of Light Rail.  On June 1, 2009, Chief Yahner was promoted to the Executive Assistant Chief.




Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.