Throughout his 35 year career as a Tempe Police Officer, Tom Ryff has recognized the importance of building coalitions and promoting a community police force that values inclusiveness, innovation and diversity.
Since becoming Chief in 2006, his goal has been to transform the Tempe Police Department into a high-performing, high-morale organization that excels in delivering high-quality police services and is prepared to meet the increased public safety challenges of the future.
Ryff has placed an emphasis on fighting crime through Intelligence Led Policing, providing quality police services, creating a positive work environment for employees, promoting organizational development and innovation, enhancing information technology and forming partnerships with Federal, State and municipal law enforcement agencies.
The Tempe Police Department is currently comprised of approximately 500 employees, with an operating budget of over 70 million dollars. Tempe Police employees serve a resident population of over 167,000, and a service population of 225,000. Tempe is home to Arizona State University, which has a student population of over 60,000.
Chief Ryff holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Management, a Masters in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University, is a graduate of Northwestern University’s School of Police Staff and Command.
Over the course of his extensive career, Chief Ryff has been the recipient of multiple awards: 2014 Friends of National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Officers (N.O.B.L.E.) Leadership Award; 2011 Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Traffic Safety Award; 2010 National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (N.A.A.C.P.) East Valley Chapter President’s Award; 2009 Human Relations Commission Martin Luther King Diversity Award; 2009 League of United Latin American (L.U.L.A.C.) Citizens Community Service Award; and the 2006 National Latino Peace Officers Association (N.L.P.O.A.) Special Recognition Award.
Additionally, Chief Ryff has served on a variety of boards and associations. He currently serves as the Chair of the East Valley Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team, Secretary for the East Valley Gang & Criminal Information Fusion Center, and Past Chair and member of the East Valley Police Chiefs Association. He was recently elected as Chair of the Mountain Southwest Region for the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), and is also serving as a member on the IACP Training Committee.