ORO VALLEY, Ariz. -A survey called Oro Valley the safest city in Arizona. Now the police chief who spent twenty years securing that honor is retiring.
KGUN9 On Your Side talked with retiring Chief Danny Sharp, and Oro Valley's incoming chief about how crime---and crime prevention have changed.
In Sharp's twenty years as chief, Oro Valley has grown by fifty percent from a small bedroom community to a diverse combination of residential and commercial---- and Chief Sharp has grown its reputation as a safe place to live and work. Achieving that has required crime fighting to evolve, as crime has evolved.
Police motorcycles escorted Chief Danny Sharp to his retirement ceremony at an Oro Valley Church----full of formal honors---and friendly tributes.
Afterwards, Oro Valley Police shared the emotion of the Chief’s final radio call in a Facebook post.
Looking back on 20 years with Oro Valley on top of 21 years with Tucson Police, Chief Sharp remembers how he worked to build people-oriented community policing. He says it's an old fashioned personal approach of the cop on the beat but adapted to modern times.
"It's like technology has changed a lot of things. Social media has changed things, the ability to scam and to do things, certainly the crime has changed just with the sophistication of the crooks."
Incoming Chief Kara Riley had many years in law enforcement before the 16 years she's been an officer in Oro Valley. She says police there are training to fight on-line scams while still dealing with old-line property crimes.
"They'll victimize our residents and end up going to sell items that are stolen for like drugs and so forth that we always have to be cognizant of that where we have pressure coming up from the south and north, both sides and also coming in off Tangerine."
Riley says she'll work on the foundation of community policing Chief Danny Sharp built and expand programs to helps businesses fight crime. While he enjoys retirement in the town he helped protect.
Chief Sharp will not step away from law enforcement entirely. He's spent a lot of his career active in law enforcement organizations around the country and around the world. He says he'll stay active in traffic safety issues in Pima County.