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On Friday, Jan. 31, the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police selected Marana Police Department Chief Terry Rozema as its 2020 Police Chief of the Year. This announcement came at the AACOP’s January meeting in Mesa. The designation is awarded to a police chief who embodies devotion to the principles of law enforcement. 

The selection came as an extra surprise for Rozema, who, due to a mistake in communication, was only notified of his designation a few days before the ceremony, as opposed to several weeks. 

While busy finishing the department’s budget with his team, Rozema felt he wouldn’t have time to attend the AACOP meeting, and informed the association of his probable absence. 

“And they said, ‘I think that’s going to be a problem. He’s supposed to be recognized as chief of the year. He hasn’t been told that yet?’” Rozema said. “So, it was kind of a last-minute thing, but it was also a really nice surprise.” 

At the meeting, AACOP officials generally announce the achievements of and reasons for selecting their police chief of the year, but Rozema asked them not to. 

“I’m really uncomfortable with that kind of thing, so I didn’t really want them up there talking about ‘he did this, he did that,’” Rozema said. “Here’s the way I look at this: This is a team sport and anything I’ve ever been a part of that would be considered a success isn’t my success, it’s the success of our team and everybody doing their part… But some of the things they did talk about is that we were one of the first agencies to receive the state accreditation, we went through that process in less than a year and had a spotless on-site assessment. And some of the things that came out of the accreditation: how the agency is run and how it’s viewed by the community.” 

Rozema also pointed to the construction of the department’s new $23 million station, paid for by a half-cent sales tax which was approved by the community, as an example of their local achievements.

“It’s those things coupled with the reputation of our organization within the community, and the culture are all things that contribute,” Rozema said. “Again, I look at it not as my success, but as a team success because it’s a whole lot of people doing good work that makes all those things happen.” 

Previous AACOP Chiefs of the Year include Chief Sean Duggan of the Chandler Police Department in 2019 and Chief Robert DeVries of the Kingman Police Department in 2018.

“Our vision is to strive to become the most well-respected and highly regarded police department in the state of Arizona,” Rozema said. “So when people start coming to us and asking ‘how did you do that’ or ‘what are you doing differently here,’ when our people start being recognized as the best in the region or the best in the state, you know that you’re moving in the right direction. I think that’s where this becomes important to me. It’s not about the personal achievement, it’s about knowing that we as an organization have done some things that are causing other people to say, ‘Marana’s got it going on, they’ve got some good things going on down there’... So while I may have the trophy sitting in my office, but really it’s a great team effort.” 

Rozema entered law enforcement with the Tucson Police Department in 1987. After 24 years with TPD, he became chief of the Marana Police Department in January 2011.

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