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.
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.
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.