By Jennifer Carnes
There will be a new person at the helm of the Superior Police Department.
But only temporarily.
Superior Police Chief Frank Alanis has left the department in the capable hands of Pinal County Lieutenant Adrian Leos while he heads to Florida to attend the Senior Management Institute for Police (SMIP) Session 78.
“I was originally scheduled to attend in 2020 but due to COVID it was cancelled,” Chief Alanis said.
The three-week course gives police chiefs and other senior police executives intensive training in the latest management concept and practices used i business and government, Alanis explained. The course is limited to 30 participants which lends well to their discussions of the most challenging issues facing law enforcement executives today.
Classes are usually held at Boston University, but due to COVID restrictions on the campus, the location was changed to Orlando, Florida, a “hardship” Alanis said he’ll endure.
Alanis assured that the taxpayers of Superior will not be shouldering the expense of this class and trip. Existing RICO funds seized from criminals will be used to fund the trip.
With a police department as small as Superior’s, this three-week trip would have left the department short-handed and without a leader. Chief Alanis wanted to put someone in charge in his absence who could use the experience as a learning tool.
The Superior Police Department, Alanis explained, has become a “mentoring agency,” a place for officers to learn. When Alanis was accepted into this year’s class, he decided to ask the Pinal County Chief Deputy Matt Thomas for a suggestion and let them use it as an opportunity for young leaders to step up and take command. Thomas suggested Lt. Leos.
Leos has served with Pinal County Sheriff’s Office for 20 years. He began as an 18-year-old serving as a detention officer and going on to serve as a patrol deputy, gang detective and narcotics detective. In 2014, he was promoted to Patrol Sergeant and now serves as the Lieutenant in charge of the “Charlie” division in Western Pinal County. He comes from a law enforcement family. His father and uncle are law enforcement. Better still, Leos is a native to Pinal County, born and raised in the Picacho area.
Leos said he’s already seeing the great opportunity this is affording him. He spent the week leading up to the Chief’s departure learning how to put a department budget together, calling it “great first hand experience.” Leos explained that in a department as big as PCSO, rarely if at all do command officers have the responsibilities of budgeting for the department.
Alanis called this time a “great tryout,” explaining that he wants a good plan for succession in the eventuality of his retirement from the department. “I want nothing but the best (for the department) for years to come,” he said.
“I am positive Lt. Leos will do an amazing job and this experience will be something that molds his career.”
So if you see Lt. Leos out and about in Superior, be sure to stop and say hi and make him feel welcome to this Superior town.