Maricopa’s first top cop now wants to be the county’s top cop.

Patrick Melvin, a Cobblestone resident, says he will run as a Democrat in 2024 for Pinal County sheriff, which is currently held by Republican Mark Lamb.

It has been widely speculated that Lamb plans to run for Kyrsten Sinema’s U.S. Senate seat next year, although he has yet to make an official announcement. Sinema has left the Democrat party and has not yet said if she will run for re-election as an independent. Ruben Gallego, a Democrat member of the U.S. House of Representatives, has announced his run for Sinema’s seat.

Melvin, 58, last year ran unsuccessfully for constable of Western Pinal Justice Precinct 4 serving Maricopa.

Melvin was unanimously appointed Maricopa’s first police chief on Sept.5, 2006, and later promoted to director of public safety, overseeing both the Police and Fire departments. He came to Maricopa after 21 years with the Phoenix Police Department, most recently as commander of the traffic bureau.

He retired from Maricopa in 2011, when he became police chief of Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Police. Three years later, he ran unsuccessfully for Maricopa City Council. He resigned from the Salt River department in early 2016 after being placed on paid administrative leave because he was pursuing other jobs with larger departments.

In September 2016, Melvin was hired as chief of Port Arthur, Texas, PD, however his exit there two years later also was forced. The nearby Beaumont (Texas) Enterprise reported on May 18, 2018, the force gave Melvin a vote of no confidence, leading the acting city manager to request Melvin’s resignation.

In a 41-page letter to Harvey Robinson, the acting city manager, Port Arthur Police Association President Greg Mouton stated officers “have lost all trust, faith and confidence” in Melvin, according to the Enterprise report.

“It’s evident now that Chief Melvin is seeking other employment opportunities,” Mouton wrote. “Respectfully saying, why not assist him in his departure for the better of all that have been affected under his leadership?”

Robinson then requested Melvin’s resignation, according to the Enterprise.

Melvin returned to Arizona and on Sept. 23, 2019 the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office hired him as a court information management and release operations administrator.

Along the way Melvin was a finalist for police chief of Memphis, St. Louis and Seattle, among others.

Related story: Melvin asked to resign