Skip to content

Chief Chris Magnus

Magnus emerges as favorite for Tucson police chief position

on October 30, 2015

Richmond Police Chief Chris Magnus appears to be the top choice to become police chief in Tucson, Arizona, after a search committee voted to recommend him as the best fit for the job.

Representatives of a citizen’s panel in the Arizona city interviewed finalists on Thursday, voting 11 to 2 for Magnus over two other top contenders. Tucson city government department heads, police union and city manager will weigh in next, before the selection process goes to Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and the City Council.

“We’re hoping to have a decision made by the end of November,” the Tucson police spokesperson, Lane Mandle, said Friday.

The opening arose when Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villaseñor decided to retire at the end of this year. Should Magnus take the position, he would be leading a department that is three times the size of the Richmond PD.

The Tucson Citizen Police Chief Appointment Advisory Committee settled on Magnus after a lengthy discussion. A panel of committee members interviewed Magnus on Thursday along with the two other finalists for more than five hours.

None of the finalists was from Tucson or had worked previously for the Tucson police, a source of disappointment for several committee members. According to the Arizona Daily Star, one member even expressed a wish to conduct a new search for a local candidate.

But in the end, Magnus emerged as the favorite of a clear majority. The two dissenting votes went to Dallas Police Deputy Malik Aziz.

Sixty candidates had originally been in the running. The evaluation process has been ongoing for some time, and included a visit to Richmond by Tucson representatives to view Magnus in action.

Members of the Richmond police have been watching with interest, voicing support for Magnus while sounding convinced his time in Richmond is nearing an end.

“We’re not surprised at all,” said Capt. Mark Gagan. “He has vision and talent that he’s demonstrated here … We are so fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Magnus for the last decade.”

Magnus had announced his position as a finalist to his team only two weeks ago, and so far the news has not prompted any personnel adjustments within the department, Gagan said. Although there are still several months before his potential departure, Gagan pointed out that Deputy Chief Allwyn Brown—who has worked with Magnus for the majority of his tenure—is “more than capable” to lead the team.

Richmond Confidential welcomes comments from our readers, but we ask users to keep all discussion civil and on-topic. Comments post automatically without review from our staff, but we reserve the right to delete material that is libelous, a personal attack, or spam. We request that commenters consistently use the same login name. Comments from the same user posted under multiple aliases may be deleted. Richmond Confidential assumes no liability for comments posted to the site and no endorsement is implied; commenters are solely responsible for their own content.

Card image cap
Richmond Confidential

Richmond Confidential is an online news service produced by the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism for, and about, the people of Richmond, California. Our goal is to produce professional and engaging journalism that is useful for the citizens of the city.

Please send news tips to

Latest Posts

Scroll To Top