About Phoenix Police Chief Michael Sullivan
Michael Sullivan is a veteran law enforcement executive with 27 years of operational, administrative, and command experience in major city environments. The focus throughout his career has been to foster trust between the women and men of the police department and the communities they serve.
Sullivan began his law enforcement career in Louisville, Kentucky as a member of the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD). After more than two decades of numerous assignments, he rose through the ranks and was appointed the Deputy Chief/Chief of Staff (second in command) of the agency in 2015.
In June 2019, Michael Sullivan was recruited by the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) to serve as Deputy Commissioner of the Operations Bureau, commanding the Patrol Operations Division, Criminal Investigation Division, and the Data Driven Strategies Division, encompassing over 2,500 sworn and civilian members. In 2020, he successfully led BPD’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and oversaw the agency’s nationally recognized deployment response to mass demonstrations protesting the murder of George Floyd. Sullivan also successfully redesigned the agency’s COMSTAT process to include an emphasis on total command performance, which led to reduced overtime spending while the City experienced a reduced level of overall Part I crime.
In June 2021, he took command of BPD’s Compliance Bureau as the principal executive charged with leading reform efforts and begin bringing the agency into substantial compliance with the mandates of its Federal Consent Decree which was entered in 2017. This was accomplished by working in collaboration with the community, all Bureaus of the BPD, the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, the Court Monitoring Team and the Federal Court. In support of the reform efforts, he commanded the BPD Education and Training Academy, Information Technology Division, Consent Decree Implementation Unit, Communications and Records Management Division, Equity Office, and the Performance Standards Section. The most recent monitoring report in 2022 outlined the significant progress the agency has made, moving the reform effort from the policy development and training phases into implementation and assessment of compliance.
Sullivan is a graduate of the Southern Police Institute’s Administrative Officers Course, the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP)/MacArthur Foundation Institute on Juvenile Justice at Yale University, and the Major Cities Chiefs Association Police Executive Leadership Institute. In 2018, the Police Executive Research Forum awarded him with the prestigious Gary P. Hayes Award, which recognizes national leaders in the policing profession. He currently serves on the IACP Human and Civil Rights Committee.
Sullivan holds a bachelor’s degree in police administration and a master’s degree in the administration of justice from the University of Louisville.
The Phoenix Police Department is the law enforcement agency responsible for the city of Phoenix, Arizona. Currently, the Phoenix Police Department comprises more than 2,900 officers and more than 1,000 support personnel. The department serves a population of more than 1.6 million and patrol almost 516 square miles (1,340 km2) of the fifth largest city in the United States.