John Meza has proudly served the community of Mesa for over 30 years in various capacities within the Mesa Police Department and now serves the City of Tempe as the Director of Student Affairs and Safety for the Tempe Union High School District. From his early years as a gang detective conducting gang prevention, intervention, and enforcement projects to his recent retirement as the Chief of Police. John Meza was appointed Chief of Police on April 6, 2015, by the Mesa City Manager. Prior to his appointment, Meza held the position of an Assistant Chief for over eight years. As an Assistant Chief, he was assigned over the Executive Office and Operations Bureau. He received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix and a Master’s Degree in Human Relations/Counseling from Northern Arizona University.
During his tenure, Chief Meza created the Community Engagement and Employee Wellness Bureau which focuses on the importance of community trust and partnership as well as the interests and wellbeing of the department members. Chief Meza was instrumental in the development and implementation of various innovative programs, particularly the Compstat approach to data-driven policing. The Mesa model of Compstat has quickly become a model for other police departments throughout the state of Arizona and has been a key aspect of reducing crime in Mesa. The City of Mesa is the 7th safest city in the nation and has the seen the lowest crime rate since the 1960’s.
Chief Meza has been involved in various service and diversity programs such as Chairperson for the Mesa Police Department Hispanic Community Forum and Liaison to the Mesa Police Department’s Community Engagement and Diversity Team.
Furthermore, Chief Meza is currently the Board President for Community Bridges Incorporated and board member of the Marc Community Resources Center.
Chief Meza has also served as Acting Director for Housing and Development and previously served as an Assistant to the City Manager, overseeing various City of Mesa services including the Arts & Culture Division, Library Services, Fleet Services, and Housing and Community Development Services.
Chief Meza’s dedicated service over the last 30 years has given him a deep understanding of the culture and diversity in the east valley. Through his community involvement over the years, he is viewed as a committed leader who has a sincere desire for the well-being and safety of the community. He has molded his leadership approach to serve the community and deliver the best public safety service possible.