I (Scott, that is) had the chance to watch Phoenix Public Safety Manager Jack Harris’ news conference relating to the three officers indicted for fraud and theft charges.
Under difficult questioning, he handled himself superbly. I think it’s apparent that the chief has been media-trained very well. A compliment.
He made some excellent comments about the department’s position regarding its employees during his opening statement and his responses to media questions appeared to be thoughtful and to the point.
When asked if he thought the department was “corrupt,” Harris responded with a stern “no” and an explanation of the difference between “misconduct by these off-duty officers” and corruption, such as officers taking money to forgive traffic tickets and other transgressions.
He stated that if the department was corrupt, he would not have been standing in front of the media answering questions about the indictments just hours after they were handed down. He also said the department would never have turned the investigation over to the attorney general if it was a corrupt organization.
It’s never easy being the face of an organization under scrutiny. But I think the chief’s badge still had some shine to it after his high-pressure news conference.