Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2008 | 12:15 p.m.
The Clark County School District has a new police chief, Capt. Phil Arroyo, who joined the district's police department in August 2005 after a career in community and school policing in Florida.
Arroyo has been sharing interim chief duties since the departure of Hector Garcia, who resigned in August.
We have an opportunity now to reconcile the problems of the past administration, said Phil Gervasi, president of the Clark County School Police Officers Association. When we have stable leadership we are better able to provide for the safety of the children.
Arroyo was one of five finalists for the job. Another finalist was Adam Garcia, currently chief of police for UNR.
Arroyo could not be immediately reached for comment.
Clark County Schools Superintendent Walt Rulffes confirmed Wednesday that Arroyo had accepted the offer to be the district's top cop. Rulffes said one of Arroyo's top priorities will be continuing to build stronger working relationships with the area¹s municipal police agencies.
Arroyo has several other challenges already on his plate. Recruiting continues to be an issue, as the department is currently down about 20 officers from the full roster of 145.
An internal audit of School Police, launched as a matter of standard procedure following Hector Garcia's departure, has yet to be completed by the district.
Arroyo will be the School District's third police chief since the 1999.
Legislature authorized the department's creation. Elliot Phelps served four years as chief before being fired after the district learned he did not have the state-mandated certification to hold the job. Garcia replaced him in February 2005.
Arroyo began his law enforcement career with the Miami Police Department in 1983. He later worked in private security, and in juvenile services for the city of West Palm Beach. He joined the Palm Beach County School Police in 2000, and remained there until relocating to Clark County.