By Nikki Lee

Hello friends, and hello fall! Summer was pretty harsh this year, and I am happy that October is finally here. July and August were Tucson’s hottest months ever recorded, and our monsoon season was incredibly disappointing. With a large percentage of our annual rainfall typically occurring during the monsoon season, I hope we make up for the lack of rain in the coming months to help replenish some of our groundwater.

One of my biggest goals as an elected official is to be accessible, transparent, and communicative. With that, we’ve hosted a series of Ward 4 Town Halls focused on core services and other relevant content and projects that my team and I feel will be valuable to you, and a good investment of your time. Our October Town Hall is focused on public safety, so this month I’d like to share some public safety updates for Ward 4.

Operations Division East has a new division commander. Captain Colin J. King is a life-long Tucsonan who began his career with the Tucson Police Department in 2002. He was an officer in Operations Division Midtown and in Special Investigations before being promoted to Detective where he worked in both the Property Crimes and Crimes Against Persons Divisions.  Captain King had an additional, auxiliary assignment as a specially trained member of the Hostage/Crisis Team. Captain King was promoted to sergeant and returned to Operations Division Midtown as a patrol supervisor and a training sergeant for new supervisors. He also supervised the Mayor Security Detail and Alternative Response/Callback Unit. Captain King was promoted to Lieutenant in 2015 and spent time as a patrol commander in Operations Division West, commander for the Special Victims Section within the Central Investigations Division, and finally as Chief Magnus’ Chief of Staff. Captain King holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Arizona and a Master of Administration- Leadership from Northern Arizona University.

Captain King’s leadership team includes Lieutenant Robert Garza who has prior command assignments in Human Resources and a stint as the SWAT commander; Lieutenant Ray Mechtel who was also assigned as a commander to the Counter Narcotics Alliance; and newly promoted Lieutenant Mark Jimenez who counts being a detective and a first shirt supervisor in Operations Division Midtown amongst his numerous assignments prior to being promoted and assigned to ODE. They work closely with my office to serve our community.

One of the ways my staff and I have worked with the Tucson Police Department is through the Lock it or Lose It initiative. This campaign is a simple yet effective concept that can limit a low-level thief’s ability to target us. These thieves will go into neighborhoods and try every car door handle looking for an unlocked vehicle. Typically, if a vehicle is locked, they will bypass it and move on. If they find a vehicle that someone forgot to lock, they go through it looking for valuables. Most thieves don’t want to draw attention to themselves by breaking a window or taking the time to pick a lock, so by simply locking your car doors you can stop a vast number of vehicle break-ins.

Another component to the Lock It or Lose It initiative is to remove any valuables from your vehicle (for example: purses, wallets, laptops, backpacks, and especially firearms) and definitely don’t leave valuables in plain sight. When thieves see these high dollar items through a car window, they may be more willing to risk causing damage in order to enter the vehicle.  Believe it or not, in most instances the firearms that are stolen out of vehicles come out of unlocked cars. We can eliminate these thefts simply by not leaving these valuables in our vehicles. These are simple steps that anyone can take to avoid vehicle break-ins.

On another note, you may have heard text to 911 has launched in Pima County. Communications centers across Pima County have now integrated texting into the 911 answering system, allowing residents in need of emergency services to reach a dispatcher via text when they are unable to call. Traditional 911 voice calls are still preferred since they are the most effective way for dispatchers to gather information and field emergency calls. Text to 911 helps those who are unable to speak due to an emergency, or those who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech disabled. To best use the system, you must know and provide your location in the text. Also, you can’t text with a 911-only phone nor can you text from an internet messaging program. The preferred language is English, due to limited translation services. The easiest way to remember when to use the system is to “Call If You Can. Text If You Can’t.”

On October 28th from 5:30-6:30pm, the Ward 4 Virtual Town Hall will include a conversation with Chief Chris Magnus from the Tucson Police Department and Chief Chuck Ryan from the Tucson Fire Department to discuss all things public safety. Visit to get more information on how to attend the Ward 4 Virtual Town Hall. Please note: we will not be holding town halls in November or December due to the holidays. We are excited to resume our town hall series in the new year.

Lastly, you may have noticed we’ve begun sending out regular Ward 4 newsletters. If you’d like to sign up to receive them, please email us at

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