Chief Sullivan Is ‘Thinking’ About the DOJ But What Is He ‘Doing’?

Phoenix Police Chief Michael Sullivan gave an interview with AZ Central on Sunday, October 15, 2023, discussing his first year on the job. We were hoping he would answer some of the pressing questions we have been asking but it was short on details and included various talking points that are a mainstay with most major chiefs.

While there is plenty to discuss, we would like to point out what he said about the Department of Justice and the pending investigation against the Phoenix Police Department.

“We know we’re waiting on DOJ findings, and being able to navigate what that looks like being able to see how the department and the city moves forward with the results of that investigation is something else that’s on the top of my list that I continue to think about and work on every day.”

Sullivan’s comments once again raise alarms that he is “waiting” on the DOJ Investigation rather than making the necessary preparations. If Sullivan is indeed “thinking” about it, we will once again ask what he is doing in the area that the DOJ will focus on because it’s always what they focus on.

The DOJ has a 30 year track record of using simplistic statements (and methodology) to accuse agencies of “patterns and practices.” His agency will be accused of a “pattern and practice” because the crime in Phoenix is committed at a disparate rate and thus the police department activity (arrests, stops, use of force) will match that rate.

The DOJ will call this a “pattern and practice” but to anyone with a few brain cells, this is called the police responding to crime.

Is Sullivan taking the necessary steps to answer these questions and refuse any involvement from the federal government with, yet another local agency?

Has his department conducted the necessary research, study and analysis of use of force at a very high level to explain this disparity?

This is not some unique or novel concept. As we previously told you, Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia unveiled a public dashboard earlier this year..doing this.

Has Sullivan tracked crime locations and compared that to the population in the city, which would also explain any “disparity” the DOJ will find?

The DOJ has been playing this scam for three decades and they will not present Phoenix with anything new so Sullivan has no excuse to not have the answers today.

It concerns us that Sullivan wonders how the department “will move forward” with the pending DOJ Investigation.

The only way anything “forward” happens with the DOJ is if Sullivan and the politicians in Phoenix want them to move forward.

Any participation with the DOJ is voluntary and moving forward should be occurring right now, without any unnecessary and harmful federal oversight. 

Sullivan should be rolling out action items to the public, including contextual data, that explains to the public why there is disparity within the Phoenix Police Department because if he doesn’t, the DOJ will call a press conference and call the Phoenix Police Department a racist organization.

Once again, this is not a theory…this is what the DOJ does to every agency they have investigated.

As citizens of Phoenix, we do not want our chief law enforcement executive “waiting” on the DOJ.  We want him “doing” and that begins with a deep analysis of the data and a transparent presentation to the community.

We do not want to hear from the DOJ…We want to hear from Chief Sullivan.