Village People: Meet Sedona Police Chief, David McGill

Sedona Police Chief David McGill with his family

Sedona Police Chief David McGill with his family

“I’m like a fish out of water,” said David McGill, referring to living in Arizona.

The ocean is his church; the wildlife, the wave action, the peace and tranquility while on the water is his worship experience. Raised in Southern California, Newport Beach was home for much of his life. He practically lived in the ocean, swimming, surfing and boating. “I spent more time on the water than on land while growing up,” said David. With his father disabled in a helicopter crash, he was privileged to have a stay-at-home dad who took him camping, hunting, fishing and out on the deep-sea boats.

Kim, David’s wife, a transplant to SoCal from Texas, also loves the water. They met in Laguna Beach during her career with Four Seasons Hotels. Married for 18 years (he says they are inseparable), they have three adult children between them. David’s dad taught him remodeling and home repair, so home flipping became a part of his and Kim’s life together. They work on their home, enjoy quiet time, relaxing with a book, being on the water or camping in the desert. David said, “You can’t explain to people how beautiful or magical the local desert is.”

Spending most of his adult years in law enforcement, David followed in his parents’ footsteps. He says there was a McGill in the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) from 1954 until 2012. His dad was part of the first LAPD SWAT team, his mother one of the first female graduates of the LAPD Police Academy. His brother John is still a police officer in San Diego. David was with the LAPD for over 25 years and then moved to Newport Beach, where he was a Deputy Chief for five years.

In 2017 David became the Chief of Police for the Sedona Police Department. His desire is to see better training, better equipment and better functioning as a unit. He already sees progress. Regarding the move from Newport Beach, David said, “Policing is essentially the same everywhere. You protect the community, control traffic, and train and watch for any terrorist threat.”

David said he had no plans to be Sedona’s Police Chief, but he and Kim are spontaneous. They had a home in Scottsdale and were considering retirement. “Instead,” he says with a smile, “We took a left on the 17 and ended up in Sedona.”

Is retirement in the near future? “You know, we’re simple, humble folks who stay at home and have a quiet life. We’re blessed to be a part of this community. We’re not sure when, but for me, when it comes, I would love to get on a sailboat, point it west, and not stop until I felt like it.”

Jim Cunningham, Jr. is a pastor, husband, father, lover of people, friend, neighbor, counselor, teacher, book collector, and jack-of-all-trades. Meet him here each month to become acquainted with yet another Village resident.

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