RICHMOND, Calif. - Richmond Police Chief Chris Magnus is set to become the new police chief in Tucson, Arizona, pending the approval by the Tucson City Council on Tuesday.
Chief Chris Magnus is known in Richmond for putting in the time and work to build a relationship the community. It is why residents said they are sad to see him go.
Linda Whitmore of the Santa Fe Neighborhood Council said Magnus made a big impact with community-based policing, where officer are assigned to specific beats.
“Getting police and the community together, that’s a big deal,” Whitmore said. “Every community has a police officer that goes to the meetings once a month and they get to know the police officer by name.”
Another resident, Kathleen Sullivan, said when Magnus came to Richmond in 2006, he had good ideas. She said he has since stood by residents consistently and made decisions in their best interest.
“More than anything else we’ve reduced crime,” she said. “When I started looking at the statistics, I was amazed myself.”
The statistics show a city this is getting safer each year. According to data released by the Richmond Police Department, homicides, violent crimes, and property crimes have reduced significantly from 2003 to 2013.
While residents know Magnus for helping the city transform, the nation was introduced to him in 2014 when he was seen holding a Black Lives Matter poster at a peaceful protest. The protest was held on the streets of Richmond after the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The image sparked controversy, but Richmond mayor Tom Butt praised Magnus for it.
“That’s part of the reason people here love him, because he says, ‘I’m one of you’ and its one of the reasons he’s been effective in Richmond,” Butt said.
City leaders and residents said Magnus has created a culture of change and is leaving a safer city behind.
“Tucson is getting the best of the best,” Whitmore added.
Magnus will likely start his post after the current police chief in Tucson retires in December.
KTVU reached out to Magnus for comment. He is expected to make an announcement on Wednesday after the vote has been finalized in Tucson.