Mark Goodman’s first day on the job as Maricopa’s new police chief was Monday morning, Jan. 23.
He comes to Maricopa from Pasadena, Calif., where he served 28 years with its Police Department, which is the fourth-largest law-enforcement agency in the Los Angeles area.
Goodman, 52, and Victoria, his wife of 27 years, have three daughters: Courtney, 25; Caitlin, 23; and Christa, 20.
Goodman granted InMaricopa an exclusive interview on Jan. 20, three days before he started his new job, to gain insights into his career, policing philosophies and early impressions of the city.
Here is Part 2 of our interview with the new police chief.
InMaricopa: What are your long-term goals for the Maricopa Police Department?
Chief Goodman: I want to look at crime fighting, obviously that is important to me. I want to make sure the community knows that’s a priority of mine. Developing relationships is important. Part of keeping a community safe is fighting crime and being proactive. I’ll be looking to my team in Maricopa to help show me where those crime trends are taking place and make sure we address those crime trends appropriately. And then I’ll also be looking at traffic issues around schools. Part of community development, of course, is concerns about traffic. We want to help mitigate those things up front as much as we can. We also want to work with community members and business owners to make traffic flow so people can get in and out of neighborhoods, schools and businesses as easily as possible, and all those things are interconnected.
InMaricopa: What is your policing philosophy?
Goodman: Prevention, intervention and enforcement. They all play a role in our community policing philosophy. I always say if we can prevent crime that’s our goal, to prevent it by being proactive. But also, if we can intervene, especially in the lives of our youth, and keep kids from going down the wrong path through a variety of programs — either through local non-profits, or the city, or recreation — keeping kids focused in a positive direction is the goal. And then, of course, there is enforcement. Enforcement is always going to be a part of what we do, the name is built in. Being proactive and making sure we’re out there fighting crime appropriately is important to me.
InMaricopa: You’re only 52, do you see this being a long-term position for you?
Goodman: Absolutely, yes. Absolutely. I love law enforcement, as you’ve probably gathered by now. It is my passion, aside from my family it’s been one of my true loves in my life. I can see myself working for at least 10 more years because I have got a lot of gas left in the tank. I am committing myself long term to Maricopa, not only in becoming a resident, but to the team there. I’m committed to the success of the city, and to our Police Department team, and to our team at City Hall. I think that’s very important.
InMaricopa: How does that reporting structure compare with other places you’ve been?
Goodman: When I was a commander in Pasadena, I reported to a deputy chief, who reported to the chief of police. My direct boss here is Micah Gaudet (deputy city manager/chief public-safety officer). I’m accustomed to, in Pasadena, having frequent contact with City Council members, the city manager and assistant city managers, so I’m very accustomed to reporting to the city executive leadership team. My bosses are a big part of the team, also fellow department heads are part of the team. We’re intertwined, we can’t afford to be siloed because what the Police Department does may affect public works, economic development or the Fire Department. So, I want to make sure that I have good, solid relationships with my fellow directors and department heads and the entire executive leadership team and make sure I’m helping to move the city in the right direction.
InMaricopa: What have you learned about the department and city in advance of coming?
Goodman: Did a lot of research. City is about 70,000 people now, and its growing. It’s annexed for a lot more growth. It’s very exciting from a public-safety and economic-development standpoint. I think I met all the department heads during the interview process, and I am super impressed with everybody on the executive leadership team. I met with the City Council. I was very, very impressed with how they work together in pursuit of their stated goals. In the interview process, I had access to the recorded (City Council) meetings and I was very impressed with the spirit of cooperation among the City Council members and how they work together to accomplish the stated goals of the city.
InMaricopa: Have you met with the Maricopa captains and other Police Department leaders, and what is your evaluation of them?
Goodman: I’ve met for about an hour so far with Captain (Stephen) Judd, and three of our lieutenants. I’m very impressed with their commitment to the Police Department and to public safety and their commitment to community policing. It’s already evident by the fact that Maricopa is a very safe city to live in and do business in, and I’m very impressed with their operation. I’m looking forward to being part of the team.
InMaricopa: How important are relationships within the department and the community?
Goodman: I want people to know me personally and have a level of comfort so that I’m approachable to them. I want the community to see me and be able to approach me. I want people to see me as a person and be able to approach me and talk about any topic that’s of concern to them. I want to be accessible as the police chief. That’s my plan, to be out in the community and visit with businesses and homeowners’ associations, really put the rubber to the road. You know, community policing was a buzzword back in the ’90s and the big thing was having officers at, say, neighborhood-watch meetings and the like. You can go to meetings all you want, but it doesn’t mean you’re building relationships. I want to build relationships with the people I’m privileged to serve. Every day when I wake up, I want my thoughts to be how can I make Maricopa better, how can I make the Police Department better, how can I make the city better? How can I serve? As public servants, that’s what we’re supposed to be doing.
Describe the most effective and appropriate relationship MPD should have with local news media?
Goodman: It’s going to be very transparent. I’m looking forward to establishing a relationship. We’re starting to do that now. I’d love to sit down once I’m in Maricopa. I’ve been following along on your website and you guys really do represent the community and so it will be my intention to establish good relationships with the media, whether it be local or on a larger scale, because that’s the right thing to do. Having a good, positive relationship with the media is something that’s important to me. It’s something I did in Pasadena and that I intend to do in Maricopa, as well.
InMaricopa: What are you most looking forward to in the new position?
Goodman: I’m looking forward to being that hometown police chief. I intentionally want to be part of the community, and so I want to enjoy everything Maricopa has to offer as both the police chief and also as a resident. I think there’s no better way to do that than to live in town and to have a personal stake in the success of the city. I think it’s super important.
InMaricopa: What is your top concern?
Goodman: You don’t know what you don’t know. At this point, I don’t have any major concerns. I’m sure challenges will arise, and when they do, I’ll work with my police leadership team and the executive leadership team, and we’ll rise to those challenges. I think my experience from Pasadena will play well in solving the problems that arise as we go along.