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Stroke of Genius:

Tucson Police Chief Offers to Resign (Mark Berman, Washington Post)


Chris Magnus has made a success of himself climbing the chief’s ladder. He started as the chief in Fargo, ND then moved to Richmond, CA and, after ten years there, to Tucson, AZ a couple of years ago. Chief Magnus is openly gay, which is neither here nor there as far as I'm concerned, and made headlines marching against police brutality with Black Lives Matter protesters. He has made it a point to be very active in the various communities he’s served and to build strong ties to community leaders. Tucson PD is currently undergoing a death-in-custody PR disaster which I'm betting is going to wind up as yet another drug-induced excited delirium death. Three officers have resigned and “the usual suspects” have begun to whine on (loudly) about the evil police officers must go, oppressive police departments must change, yada, yada. It’s at this point most chiefs and sheriffs begin wetting their pants and promising quick and lasting changes which everyone knows will be neither “quick” nor “lasting.” Not Chief Magnus. In what I believe is a stroke of genius, he’s literally doubled down, pushed all his chips into the pot and called their bluff. His message: if, after all his efforts, the community doesn't trust TPD as a whole, then let the change process start with him. This forces elected officials, as well as the community activists to whom Chief Magnus has ingratiated himself, to make a decision.

If they accept his resignation, Chief Magnus walks out of Tucson with his head held high and directly into a cushy consultant, expert or federal job which will pay far more than he’s making now with far fewer headaches. If the city council balks, and shreds the resignation, Chief Magnus is bulletproof from that day forward. Well played Chief Magnus, you’ve set an example other police chiefs would do well to emulate!

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