Ward 1 Resident Murdered, Tucson Council And Mayor Have Blood On Their Hands

regina romero
Regina Romero with failed Tucson Unified School District Governing Board member Cam Juarez.

On the afternoon of April 22, 2019 Andrew Gallardo was beaten to death after he called 911to report that a stranger was on his property and threatening him. Gallardo was a constituent of Tucson City Council member Regina Romero.

Romero has occupied a spot on the City Council since 2007. She has spent most of that time railing against increases in the number of Tucson Police Department (TPD) officers and other public safety employees.

Andrew Gallardo called 911 and like most people, expected a police response. A full 90 minutes later, when they did respond, TPD officers found him deceased. For context sake, TPD headquarters are less than 2 miles from Mr. Gallardo’s home.

Tucson is an extremely liberal city and the City Council and mayor do not hide their disdain for law enforcement officers. It has amply provided pay cuts to its officers while bolstering the pay of city transportation employees. Officer pay has been somewhat restored but nowhere to the level it should be or would have been had the pay cuts not been implemented.

Tucson is a great city with an expanding population currently around 560,000 residents. The city is divided up into 5 divisions covering an expanse of 238 square miles. A city this size would typically employ 1000~1400 sworn police officers according to a study on police staffing by Professor James McCabe PhD. This is in addition to a myriad of non-sworn positions. Currently, the number of sworn officers for this jewel of the desert is hovering below 800. This is far below a reasonable or safe level.

The City Council and Mayor have shown their propensity for the inappropriate prioritization of taxpayer dollars at the expense of public safety. Hundreds of millions of dollars were invested in 19th Century technology to the detriment of TPD.

Furthermore in 2016, Tucson hired a new police chief, Chris Magnus, who is an unabashed social justice activist. He has taken active stances supporting various social justice causes like Black Lives Matter. His mismanagement led to the injustice from which Mr. Gallardo suffered on that fateful day in April.

The Gallardo case would not be much to write about if it was an isolated incident. A local gun store was burglarized, which on its face is multiple felonies. The owner of the gun store called Tucson 911 several times without a response even after 9 hours. Had the owner not responded to the burglary, an unknown total of firearms would have made it to the criminal underground.

This story was relayed to me by a former Tucson police officer of a call he was dispatched to one evening. A woman called 911 to report a domestic violence assault by her former boyfriend. By the time the officers arrived, the woman had sustained multiple beatings and was found unconscious. The perpetrator was nowhere to be found. The 20-minute response time did not prevent multiple injuries to the victim.

There are numerous corridors of crime in Tucson where perpetrators do not fear police presence. Police officers can’t be everywhere at the same time, nor are they sworn to protect as was once famously emblazoned on most police vehicles. It is recommended that residents provide for their own protection until the city can figure out how to prioritize its budget correctly.

The men and women who raise their hand and swear an oath to become protectors of their city deserve to have unequivocal support from the city they protect. That does not just mean the citizens, it means the Mayor and the City Council as well. Words are cheap, and the elected representatives for the city need to stop politicizing public safety.

About Chris King 12 Articles
Chris King is a veteran, community leader, member of the Pima County GOP Executive Committee. Mr. King is an expert in international security.

15 Comments

  1. Chief Magnus put out stats on lower crime rates in our city from 2018 -2019. He wrote, “our special projects and activities” are the cause of the reduction. TPD employees who read that do not know what these “activities and special projects” are. These rank and file TPD members would have to know wouldn’t you think? Its not the commanders who get out in the streets and fight crime. When our TPD chief’s office throws out these stats. Taxpayers MUST challenge them and make these TPD chiefs break them down.

  2. Natl. average (sheriff/ city police)- 2.4 cops per 1,000 citizen. TPD is 1.4 cop per 1,000 citizen. *** KEY STAT *** – Natl. average 42% to 50% commissioned officers take 911 calls. TPD is 29%-31% 911 call takers. TPD is TOP HEAVY with sergeants and commanders. This is by mayor and council design. Dont Make A Complaint To The Chief’s Office – Go Straight To Your Councils Office.

  3. short on cops when you might need 1, but just look at how many are available when you see them at a stop for a vagrant or even a pull over. i have seen as many as 3 cars at a place and they were just talking to 1 person! and no this was not at a doughnut shop either.

  4. Learn to protect yourselves as the Police in Tucson are worthless. Take the Concealed Classes so you can know when you can not just because. Really know what you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones.

    • Outrage, you need to direct your comments and blame on the shoulders of the clowncil, manager and department director (he’ no chief) and his minions. I’m proud of my kid being a cop – he could have done anything: born here, schooled here, UA degree. But he chose to be a cop. A TPD cop. He does a thankless job, for a thankless and soulless clowncil. But as been said over and over, you get what you vote for (thank God I moved out when I did).

  5. I wish there was an avenue for TPD officers to let us know exactly what they are being directed to do and by whom. This city is running off good cops.

  6. We have experienced this first-hand. We had a homeless man squatting in a storage unit in our community. The first call to TPD, 9 hour response time. He was told to leave but did not as he was told by the officer. Two more calls over two days with the same response times, he was told not to come back by TPD. He still comes on to our property and we know and he knows it does no good to call because it will take several hours for a response,if at all. It is not the fault of the officers, it is the fault of the chief of police and the city council. But you can bet they will put up a measure to raise taxes to “fund police and fire services desperately needed” They try, we see through the lie, vote it down.

  7. We need more Police Officer’s in Tucson, not less. Hire a new Police Chief, and vote out Romero. We do not need Romero as Mayor.

  8. TPD the call of last resort – to serve and collect. Nothing really happens when you call police – file a ‘computer report. Oh and you ask, ‘why should I be armed – this is why.

  9. Tucson Police no longer respond to traffic accidents.

    Then I read this.

    Now they want to make its “sanctuary” city? looks like it already is a SHIT HOLE so why not?

    What happened to the city I grew up in? I had to leave in 1986 to be able to work in my profession.

    I’ll be boycotting the city if they pass that STUPID idea.

    • Well, TPD does respond to SOME accidents… that’s why an accident (even a pedestrian accident) on one of the major streets can result in all lanes both ways being closed for hours even if it’s a divided street or highway. In my past lives here I can’t say that I’ve seen them do that, and that’s when there WERE cops around.

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