Chris Hiser has been chief of the Sierra Vista Police Department for two months and is already working on ways to improve the department.

For me its an awesome responsibility to have control over that culture and get to evolve in the right direction so we can protect and serve our community as best as possible, he said.

Hiser has been with SVPD for 20 years and is making his way up the leadership ladder, holding different positions and ranks.

Law enforcement is actually a family business for me. My father was a long-standing police officer with the Phoenix Police Department,” he said. “I always aspired to be the figurehead of the agency and Ive always wanted to take on the responsibility of leading this agency.

In his first few months, he has focused on internal changes and building his leadership team. Hiser said with recent retirements, there were a lot of promotions within the department.

Its actually refreshing to have new leaders in new roles because they are eager to learn and theyre there because they want to make a difference,” he said. “And so its a good opportunity for me to help mold their leadership career.

Hiser said one of the challenges he and his department are facing is the increased number of failure to yield and pursuits.

The difference is the frequency. Smuggling has been going through Cochise County as long as Ive been here,” he said. “What weve been doing is working cohesively and coordinating and collaborating with other agencies to do details that get these vehicles stopped as safe as possible.

Hiser took the place of Adam Thrasher, who retired from the department after more than two decades. He said he hopes to continue the positive work and build upon what the department is currently doing.

I was raised that you should always leave something better than how you found it,” Hiser said. “So every position, rank, that Ive held, Ive always taken that same mentality and approach to my career. And the office of police chief is no different.