Chandler Police Chief Sherry Kiyler announced in a surprise departmentwide email Friday that both of the department’s assistant chief positions will be slashed, according to the memo obtained by the Tribune.
Assistant chiefs Roger Nash and Joe Gaylord will be demoted to commander positions starting Feb. 6.
Nash and Gaylord will join the department’s two other commanders, and all four will report directly to Kiyler as part of a major restructuring effort that was started last fall.
"I believe that the reclassification of the positions is in the best interest of the organization and will allow us the greatest potential for success as a team," Kiyler wrote.
Kiyler called the reclassification a "good business decision," Sgt. Mark Franzen said.
"The organization already operated that way — this just classifies it differently. It made sense," Franzen said. "This is one of many changes that will take place during the departmentwide reorganization assessment."
Nash will be reassigned to field operations, which include field training officers, the bicycle unit, support personnel, budget and the department fleet.
Gaylord will be responsible for criminal investigations, administrative services, communications and the crime lab.
Both have been with the police force for more than 20 years and served as assistant chiefs under former Chief Bobby Jo Harris.
Kiyler, who was a Phoenix police commander, took charge of the department nearly a year ago after Harris retired amid controversies in 2003, such as the 1999 death of SWAT team member James Snedigar and the 2002 arrest of officer Dan Lovelace on second-degree murder charges, of which he was acquitted.
Gaylord was disciplined for giving inaccurate reports to the former city manager on disputed training hours for the department’s Special Assignment Unit in 2002.
The training reports stemmed from Snedigar’s death.
Gaylord was one of several applicants for Harris’ position.