One Bad Game Doesn’t Negate A Career Well Served

Few were more disappointed by the Scottsdale Police Department’s handling of the Scottsdale Fashion Square rioting and looting than we.

City of Scottsdale Photo

However it happened, whoever made the call, the buck ultimately stops at the Chief. And in Scottsdale, that’s Alan Rodbell.

It was an unfortunate decision and an unfortunate mark on Rodbell’s record.  The consequence of playing patty cake with the criminals is not inconsequential.

Yet, should that be how Rodbell is remembered after a strange late Friday press notice that he would be departing the city in December?


Rodbell has been effective and affable.  Some say he is too slick.  We say so what.  That’s part of the job.  To project confidence. To be able to smartly convey to community that which you are trying to do.  

Government is often criticized for being bloated and inefficient.  That’s fair.  But it’s hard to make that argument in a capable police department.  You either stop crime or you don’t.  You’re there when the emergency call comes in or you’re not.  You’re asked to walk the thin red line, a public safety balancing beam few can understand but nearly all appreciate.

Police, soldiers, teachers and firefighters are the ultimate public servants.  They forego other jobs because they want to make a difference.  Rodbell did.  For Scottsdale.  His last period of play was not his finest, but it cannot intrude on leadership that won a lot for Scottsdale over two decades, and protected her well.