New police chief was destined for Arizona

Mark Goodman, formerly a Pasadena, Calif., Police Department commander, begins his new role as Maricopa Police Chief Monday. [Bryan Mordt]

 Maricopa hires Pasadena, Calif., commander

In some ways, the hiring of Mark Goodman as Maricopa police chief was destined.

Goodman comes to Maricopa from the Pasadena, Calif., Police Department, where he has held several positions since 1994, most recently commander. He was named Maricopa’s chief Wednesday, replacing James Hughes, who resigned unexpectedly in September.

Despite working in California for 28 years, Arizona has been on his mind, he said.

“I love Arizona,” Goodman said. “All three of our daughters attended Grand Canyon University and our youngest graduates next December. For the last six years, our family has developed a love for Arizona, and this position allows me to combine my love of law enforcement, family and Arizona.”

The Goodman family’s connection grew over the years.

“When my second daughter was getting ready to graduate, she said she was going to stay in Arizona after school,” Goodman said. “My wife, who is the forward-looking one, said, ‘Let’s buy a house in Phoenix. We can visit frequently.’ Once we did that, it communicated to me that Arizona was where we were going to be in the end.”

Goodman said he and his wife will live in their Phoenix home initially, then move to Maricopa once he is settled in his new position.

Mayor Nancy Smith is confident the city found the right person.

“This is an important role for the city of Maricopa, and we are confident that we have found the right person for the job in Mark Goodman,” Smith said. “We are grateful to the senior leadership of MPD who have held the department to such a high standard of service while we conducted this nationwide search. We are ready to see the department flourish further under Goodman’s leadership and experience.”

City Manager Rick Horst said Goodman has not only the skills but the demeanor to succeed in his new role.

“My wife and I had the opportunity to host Chief Goodman and his wife, Vikki, in our home,” Horst said. “While his resume, education and experience are impressive, to say the least, it was his demeanor, his philosophy of finding the right balance between enforcement and grace, and his genuine concern for the people he and his department will serve that led me to believe he was the right person to serve as chief.”

Mark Goodman, formerly a Commander with the Pasadena, Calif. Police Department, has been named Maricopa’s new Chief of Police. [City of Maricopa]

Goodman will begin Jan. 23, 2023, joining a department that consistently has the city ranked among Arizona’s safest. Still, he is eager to put his stamp on the department.

He said he will bring to Maricopa a renewed focus on community policing and continue to build upon the department’s long-standing partnerships with residents.

“It is my belief that Maricopa has an exemplary Police Department as evidenced by its low crime rate and commitment to community service,” Goodman said. “Our goal in law enforcement is clear: to provide the highest level of public safety to those we serve. This means employing contemporary community-policing methods, which include reducing crime, maintaining order, providing hope and calming fears.”

The key to succeeding in that role lies with the people, he said.

“My first priority will be to start establishing relationships,” Goodman said. “My community-policing strategy involves building genuine relationships with the residential and business communities. I want to make sure we are connected to the community in order to provide effective public safety for those in the Maricopa community.”

Councilmember Henry Wade said he enjoyed his conversation with Goodman during his interview visit.

“We got a chance to find out a little bit about him,” Wade said. “He is a long-term, law-enforcement guy, who is articulate, intelligent and a go-getter. I was impressed.”

Goodman acknowledged that while he has visited Arizona for years, Maricopa was a bit of an unknown to him. He said he soon liked what he saw.

“Didn’t know much about Maricopa at first, but as I did more research, the community really began to resound with me,” he said. “One example is the city’s slogan of ‘Find your why.’ The organizational culture they are building, the city’s leadership team and the City Council really make it exiting to me to become a part of that leadership group.”

He reiterated that success would hinge on relationships he and the department build in the community.

“I believe this can be achieved through strategic communication, applying logic when needed, common sense and a true concern for people,” he said. “The next iteration of community policing requires law enforcement to make deep connections and to build safer neighborhoods and business districts through collaborative partnerships.”

Goodman holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from California State University-Los Angeles and a master’s in Organizational Leadership from California Coast University. He is a graduate of Class 66 of the POST Command College and Session 283 of the FBI National Academy.

Goodman’s career highlights:

  • 1994 — Hired by Pasadena PD as patrol officer.
  • 1999 — Promoted to corporal and assigned to Detective Section.
  • 2002 — Promoted to sergeant. Worked in patrol, traffic and air operations, where he developed and implemented department policy to effectively manage vehicle pursuits using risk-management model leveraging air support.
  • Developed and implemented enhanced personnel-evaluation system for all sworn and non-management personnel at Pasadena PD.
  • Leadership and management of Foothill Air Support Team, which is among California’s largest and best-known units. Secured more than $1 million in grant funding for regional air-support use.
  • 2015: Promoted to lieutenant and assigned back to Patrol Division, where he served as Division Executive Officer. Also served in Traffic Section and Professional Standards Unit.
  • 2020: Promoted to commander.