City reorganizes public safety, hires deputy city manager to oversee team

Maricopa's deputy city manager for public safety Micah Gaudet will head the city's new Department of Emergency Management, which was created in January. The department will coordinate emergency efforts between city departments, other government agencies and the community. [City of Maricopa]

Micah Gaudet, who has been town manager in Miami, Ariz., east of Phoenix, has been named deputy city manager/chief public-safety officer of Maricopa, City Manager Rick Horst announced Thursday.

At Miami, Gaudet, 31, was the youngest municipal manager in Arizona while leading the town through the Telegraph Fire and historic post-fire flooding.

His hiring represents a reorganization of Maricopa’s Police and Fire Departments, as well as its Office of Emergency Management. Maricopa said in a news release that the move unifies public-safety functions “to reduce administrative and analytical redundancies, expedite efficiencies, and create data-driven strategies as we work to become one of Arizona’s premier cities.”

The city said Gaudet will work in tandem with the police chief, fire chief and emergency management director to form the Public Safety Command Staff, charged with ensuring the health and safety of the city’s residents and visitors.

The move comes as the city is searching for a police chief after James Hughes announced his resignation effective Sept. 15. The city also is without a permanent fire chief. Brad Pitassi has been interim chief since May 27.

Gaudet will oversee police, fire and emergency management “to align public safety with the city mission to unlock its full potential to create a thriving and durable community, as well as enabling public safety to achieve the strategic objective of ensuring a safe and secure community,” according to the release.

The city said that functions, including administration, logistics, officer/fire-fighter well-being and management analysis, will be rolled together for police, fire and emergency management under Gaudet.

Subsets of current police and fire duties that do not require sworn police or firefighter response will be delegated accordingly to allow public-safety professionals to focus on their primary function, the release said.

Gaudet was the first director of crime strategies for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, executive director of the Nogales Housing Authority and policy adviser to Nogales before moving to Miami. He also was director of analysis for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and an intelligence analyst for Emergency Management & Homeland Security with the Ohio Department of Public Safety from 2016 to 2018, where he was the lead domestic terrorism analyst and led state emergency management support for high-profile events like the Republican National Convention, NBA Finals and World Series.

Gaudet earned an Associate of Arts and Sciences in intelligence from Cochise College in 2013, a Bachelor of Science in economics from Middle Tennessee State University in 2016 and a Master of Arts in public management from Johns Hopkins University in 2018. He also holds a certificate in municipal finance from the University of Chicago.

Before delving into his government positions, Gaudet served in two campaigns in Afghanistan with the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army from 2010 to 2014 and is decorated combat-zone veteran. Notably, he was recipient of a Distinguished Service Award from Maricopa County in 2018, as well as two Commendation Medals for Service in Afghanistan from the U.S. Army and a Letter of Commendation from the Tucson Chief of Police.