Precinct in South Phoenix gets a new commander

Crockett returns to lead South Mountain unit

by Sadie Jo Smokey – Oct. 17, 2010 12:00 AM

A police commander who began his career in south Phoenix is returning to lead the South Mountain Precinct.

Cmdr. Chris Crockett, a 23-year veteran of the department, began his new assignment Oct. 11.

Phoenix Public Safety Manager Jack Harris said the change in leadership was in the works prior to a police-officer shooting of an unarmed man in south Phoenix on Oct. 5.

“There has been criticism of how we react with the community,” said Harris. “There is a perception that we can do things better. (The shooting incident) may have accelerated the implementation, but it wasn’t the motivating factor.”

Crockett said one of his missions is to lower the crime rate.

“When things don’t go right, I’ll be ultimately responsible and I’m going to fix them,” Crockett said. “We want to treat everyone fairly and be held accountable.”

As an officer, Crockett worked in the South Mountain Precinct under various assignments beginning in 1987.

In 1999, he led 65 officers at the department’s substation at 2330 E. Jones Ave. serving an area between 16th and 48th streets and South Mountain and the Salt River bottom.

South Phoenix community activist Gail Knight said crime rates decreased by 25 percent and community/police relationships improved under Crockett’s leadership. Knight praised Crockett’s return.

“He’s homegrown,” said Knight. “The community is very excited. It’s good to see him back.”

read more at Precinct in South Phoenix gets a new commander.

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