Maricopa Police Chief James Hughes has resigned. The 36-year law-enforcement veteran’s final day with the department will be Sept. 15, according to a statement released by the City of Maricopa.

Hughes joined MPD in 2012 as a commander overseeing operations and replaced Steve Stahl as chief in January 2021 after Stahl announced his unexpected retirement six weeks earlier.

The City’s statement noted Hughes has been “a champion for community policing policies, fostering effective partnerships inside and outside of the department and maintaining an outstanding reputation of steadfast public trust.”

“I have made the difficult decision to move on from my position as chief of the Maricopa Police Department,” Hughes said in the statement. “This is a community that continues to show unwavering support and respect for its police department and, as such, deserves nothing short of the highest standard of service.

“I will always cherish the friendships and relationships I have formed with the residents of this great community. I greatly appreciate the respect and support you have shown me over the years and will never forget all of the great memories we shared together.”

City Manager Rick Horst praised Hughes’s efforts leading the department.

“Chief Hughes has been instrumental in creating a policing culture that understands that mission and carries out its duties with the utmost professionalism,” Horst said via the City’s statement. “The unparalleled support our officers enjoy from the community is a direct result of his efforts to instill the values of dignity and respect throughout the department.”

The City said it will hire a professional recruiting firm to conduct a nationwide search for Hughes’s replacement and MPD’s command staff will share leadership responsibilities in the interim.


  1. my over riding ? is why have u not ticketed the mothers who park , stop and stand by pima butte elementray, and santa rosa elementary school from 3 pm to 4 pm? u stated in july 2022 that schools would have a traffic plan in place. i have gone to these schools website and have found no plans why?

  2. my ? is again why and when will MPD ticket mothers who park , stand and stop in bike lanes by pima butte elementary and santa rosa elementary school? this has been an ongoing issue for a few years. when will u enforce the traffic laws. u have known about this as council man wade and vietillo complained about this in a public meeting with mpd officers in attendance. why no enforcement?