City launches search for new police chief

Maricopa Police Headquarters
The Maricopa Police Department has begun a national search for a replacement for former Chief James Hughes, who resigned in August.

Maricopa’s search for a replacement for Police Chief James Hughes is underway.

The city has contracted with Ralph Anderson and Associates, an executive job-search and human-resources consulting firm, to conduct a national search for candidates, according to Maricopa Government Relations & Communications Director Quinn Konold.

Hughes resigned in August after just 21 months on the job, telling InMaricopa the position was not a good fit. Hughes joined MPD in 2012 as a commander overseeing operations and then replaced Steve Stahl as chief in January 2021.

Konold said the city will begin reviewing candidates after the job posting closes Nov. 14.

According to the posting on the Ralph Anderson and Associates website, the position pays $182,401, depending on qualifications. Compensation includes membership in the Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System. Moving expenses may be offered to the selected candidate.

The new chief will report to Micah Gaudet, who was hired to the newly created position of Deputy City Manager/Chief Public Safety Officer.

The job description states the city is seeking “a community-service minded, innovative, and dynamic law-enforcement professional to lead the Maricopa Police Department. The Police Chief position is an active contributor to the Senior Leadership Team.”

It states the department’s 2023 budget is $12.1 million, which includes a staff of 92, including 80 sworn officers. The listing further describes the department as having a strong cadre of lieutenants, led by a captain, overseeing four functional areas: community policing, two patrol squads and criminal investigations.

The listing describes the characteristics and experience the city is seeking.

“The ideal candidate will be focused and well-versed in community-oriented policing and problem solving to address crime and quality-of-life challenges,” the listing states. “This position requires progressively responsible experience in law enforcement, including considerable supervisory and administrative experience, including 15 years of progressive experience producing results in increasingly complex situations, building consensus, challenging the status quo to achieve innovative results and 10 years of supervisory experience. Master’s degree will be an added plus.”


  1. so will the new police chief enforce traffic laws such as parents parking, stopping and standing by santa rosa elementary school and pima butte in the bike lanes? will the new police chief publish all the schools traffic plans? per the former police chief in a video dtd 07/19/2022?

  2. We have bigger issues in this city than parents picking up their children, Also lets have a real police department, that is allowed to do the policing and not the politicians looking for another vote. If you do not get a hold of the crime now, you will wish you had in the future. Many cities worried about Clinton’s 1990’s community policing grant program money, that just controlled and handcuffed the police. The Chicago land area is nothing but gang activity, violent car jacking, Robberies. They played the warm and fuzzy police then, look what the entire northern IL area crime rate is now in the suburbs. Their has already been gang fights here in the subdivisions, shots fired, drugs, murders, so wake up people. Let the POLICE do their job.