Twenty-year police veteran Michael Pooley, an assistant chief of the Tempe Police Department, has been named police chief of the city of Apache Junction, effective in January 2022.
Pooley, who has come up through the ranks in the Tempe department, has served as an assistant chief for two years. He was an officer and a detective for the first 11 years of his career before being promoted to sergeant in 2012, lieutenant in 2014 and commander in 2016.
As assistant chief, Pooley has overseen more than 220 employees and a budget of more than $34 million in managing patrol and metro operations. He has overseen Tempe’s criminal investigations and special investigations bureaus and the department’s data and technology unit.
Pooley this week accepted a contingent offer from the city of Apache Junction pending a routine administrative process, which will include setting a start date.
“We are so excited to see Chief Pooley join our department,” said Apache Junction Mayor Chip Wilson. “He brings two decades of experience from one of our neighboring communities that will serve him so well in leading our department.”
Pooley earned a master’s degree in counseling from Northern Arizona University in 2005 after getting a bachelor’s in justice studies at Arizona State University in 2002. He has done additional studies in police command at Northwestern University.
In his cover letter, Pooley noted his experience and optimism as a key trait in taking on leadership in his career.
“I believe my background and experience working for the Tempe Police Department in a variety of positions for over 20 years meets all the essential criteria for this important role,” Pooley wrote. “I know I can make an effective and immediate contribution to the City of Apache Junction as Chief of Police.”
Pooley would take over from current chief Thomas E. Kelly, who is retiring after nearly 50 years of service in public safety, including the last eight years as police chief in Apache Junction.