Community invited to 'meet and greet' with new police chief

Cottonwood is holding a "Meet and Greet" with the city's new chief of police, Steve Gesell, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 5-7 p.m.

The community gathering will be in the city's Public Safety Building, 199 S. 6th St.

Light refreshments will be served.

Chief Gesell brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the position:

• Over 20 years' experience with the Scottsdale Police Department, where he retired as a commander, and over 25 years of police experience in total.

• A wide variety of police experience to include five years as the commander of SWAT.

• Served in Atascadero, California Police Department as Commander and Acting Chief.

• Served in San Luis Obispo, California as Chief of Police.

• He has attained a Bachelor of Science Degree, Justice Studies, Arizona State University and Master of Education, Educational Leadership, Northern Arizona University.

• He has graduated from the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command.

• He attended the Drug Enforcement Administration Commanders Academy.

• He is an AZPOST Certified Fitness Instructor.

• He has served as an Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University and Scottsdale Community College.

• He took the lead at San Luis Obispo to educate the public and find solutions for homeless issues.

• He has displayed a strong connection to the community, especially local businesses.

City Manager Doug Bartosh said, "I am well aware of Steve's qualifications and experience as we worked together in Scottsdale. He brings to Cottonwood a strong set of skills that will benefit our community and further improve the services provided by the police department. I was most impressed with his ability to partner with citizens and businesses to resolve challenges that helped to improve the community."

Chief Gesell succeeds Chief Jody Fanning, who retired on Jan. 22, after serving the Cottonwood community for 30 years.

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