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Senate approves Tucson police Chief Chris Magnus to take over as CBP Commissioner

Tucson City Council taps Deputy Chief Chad Kasmar to lead the city’s police department
Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus, center, at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance...
Chris Magnus was approved by the Senate to become commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.(Cronkite News)
Published: Dec. 7, 2021 at 4:22 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - In an 50-47 vote Tuesday, the Senate approved Tucson police Chief Chris Magnus to take over as commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Magnus was hired as TPD’s leader in 2016 when Roberto Villaseñor retired.

“I congratulate Chief Magnus on his appointment and am grateful for his dedicated service and contributions to our community. I look forward to working together with the Commissioner on key issues affecting Southern Arizona,” Tucson Mayor Regina Romero was quoted as saying in a news release.

As head of the TPD, he had more than 1,100 employees. As CBP commissioner, he will lead a 60,000-worker department.

President Joe Biden in April nominated Magnus for the position, citing his “lengthy career” in law enforcement and experience working in a border state.

“In Tucson, Magnus implemented de-escalation training, sentinel event review processes, and programs to promote officer health and wellness. Because of Tucson’s proximity to the border, he has extensive experience in addressing immigration issues,” read a statement from the White House.

But the nomination was held up for months and things didn’t kick back up until early November.

Magnus has spent more than four decades working in public safety. He began working as a dispatcher and paramedic in his native Lansing, Michigan before becoming a sheriff’s deputy.

He became chief of the Fargo Police Department in North Dakota in 1999 and took over as police chief in Richmond, California, in 2006.

The Tucson City Council on Tuesday, Dec. 7, unanimously approved Tucson Deputy Chief Chad...
The Tucson City Council on Tuesday, Dec. 7, unanimously approved Tucson Deputy Chief Chad Kasmar to take over as chief.(City of Tucson)

Also on Tuesday, the Tucson City Council unanimously approved the promotion of Deputy Chief Chad Kasmar to take over for Magnus. The position went into effect immediately.

“During his 21-year career at the Tucson Police Department, Chad Kasmar has earned the respect of our Tucson community as well as fellow officers. Chad has proven himself to be a collaborator who sees public safety through a holistic lens and shares my vision of Community Safety, Health, and Wellness,” Romero said.

Kasmar has been a member of the Tucson Police Department since 2000, and was promoted to Deputy Chief in 2016.

He is a graduate of Amphitheater Public Schools and the University of Arizona and has spent time in several divisions with the TPD. Most recently, Kasmar served as the interim director at 911 Communications.

Romero says she will ask Kasmar to go on a “listening tour” with community members to further develop his goals for the department.

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