Chandler Sgt. Tom Lovejoy named CLASA president - East Valley Tribune: Chandler

Chandler Sgt. Tom Lovejoy named CLASA president

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Posted: Sunday, January 12, 2014 12:04 pm

Chandler Police Sgt. Tom Lovejoy is the new Chandler Lieutenants and Sergeants Association (CLASA) president.

Lovejoy, previously CLASA vice president and a Chandler officer of 23 years, moved into the position Jan. 1. He replaced Keith Benjamin, who will retire from the Chandler force this fall.

“I have a great deal of respect for Keith Benjamin. While our styles are different I appreciate that he will be around for a while as CLASA continues to grow,” Lovejoy said. “It is vital that we continue to serve Chandler residents and work as closely as possible with the City Council while continuing to support our officers.”

Lovejoy joined Chandler PD in 1990. He started the Victims Assistance Program and Volunteers in Policing Program in 1994, became a property crimes detective in 1996, and in 1997 began to work financial crimes. From 1998 to 2000, Lovejoy was a domestic violence detective and was promoted to patrol sergeant. For the past 14 years he has served in the neighborhood services division, K-9, patrol, and is currently the main station administration sergeant.

Lovejoy said he looks forward to working with incoming chief, Sean Duggan.

“We haven’t heard anything negative about him. He has a good reputation in law enforcement,” Lovejoy said of Duggan, who comes from the Scottsdale Police Department and takes the Chandler post on Monday. “He understands the East Valley.

“We want (a chief) with an open mind, someone who will listen. Even if he doesn’t agree, if he listens and has an open-door policy, that’s all we want.”

Lovejoy met Duggan only briefly since the latter was announced as the department’s next chief.

“We’ll have a formal introduction (this) week, as he will with almost everyone in the department,” Lovejoy said.

Pay, benefits and health care top the list of key issues for the CLASA, which represents 57 lieutenants and sergeants. Another is the size of the Chandler force, Lovejoy said.

Chandler has roughly 20,000 more residents but, according to Lovejoy, 100 fewer officers than where Duggan is coming from in Scottsdale.

“We do a lot more with a lot less,” said Lovejoy, active with the CLASA board the past six years and vice president the last two. “It’s going to be a culture change for (Duggan).

“We do need help with more detectives for those more-involved cases. There’s a backlog.”

As for Benjamin, who served as CLASA president since 2004, he is awaiting retirement.

“After 19 years with the Chandler Police Department and 29 years in law enforcement, I’m looking forward to doing something new,” Benjamin said. “I will be available until my retirement to support Tom and CLASA in any way that I can.”

The CLASA was founded in 2003.

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