Mesa Police Department Command Staff

 

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Chief Ramon Batista

Chief Ramon Batista began his law enforcement career in 1986 with the Tucson Police Department. He honorably rose through the ranks, ultimately serving as the Assistant Chief until his appointment as Chief of Police for the Mesa Police Department in July of 2017. During his committed service with the Tucson Police Department, he obtained a wide breadth of experience, starting with 11 years as a patrol officer, gaining valuable knowledge of police work on the road. He worked as a Field Training Officer, Community Resource Officer, Lead Police Officer, DUI Officer, AZPOST General Instructor, Academy Class Counselor and an undercover narcotics officer assigned to the DEA Task Force. As a Detective, he was assigned to the Special Investigations Division and the Violent Crimes Section.

After promoting to Sergeant, Chief Batista had supervisory responsibilities with the Public Information Office, Traffic Division and Patrol Operations.

At the Lieutenant level, Chief Batista was an Executive Officer to the Chief of Police and played a role in Advanced Officer Training and Patrol Operations for both the South and West Divisions.

As a Captain, Chief Batista commanded Chief of Staff, the Specialized Response Division and the South Patrol Operations Division.

Most recently as the Bureau Chief, Chief Batista commanded the Field Services Bureau and the Investigative Services Bureau.

Chief Ramon Batista now leads the Mesa Police Department as Chief of Police. Chief Batista holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Safety and Homeland Security and a Master of Science degree in Leadership from Grand Canyon University.

Chief Batista has also participated in the following specialized training:

  • Major Cities Chief's Association - Police Executive Leadership Institute
  • PERF Senior Management Institute for Police
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy
  • Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command
  • Southwest Leadership Program, University of Arizona Eller College of Management
  • University of Arizona, Eller School’s Foundation for Public Sector Leadership Course
  • United Way’s Multicultural Leadership Development Program.
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Executive Assistant Chief Lee Rankin 

Lee Rankin is a twenty-one-year veteran with the Mesa Police Department. He is currently assigned as the Executive Assistant Chief. He is responsible for the oversight and management of the department’s policy and planning section, which formulates policies based on best practices and applicable Arizona law. Lee is responsible for the development and implementation of the department’s strategic plan. He oversees the inspections unit, which audits departmental units to ensure adherence to recognized standards and compliance with all established policies and procedures. In addition, Lee is responsible for the implementation of programs that provide support, counseling and education to better prepare members to process the stress and emotional trauma prevalent within law enforcement.

Prior to this assignment, Lee served as the Organized Crime Section Lieutenant, which is responsible for the investigation of organized criminal structures within the City of Mesa and throughout the metropolitan area. He has also served as a Division Criminal Investigations Lieutenant where he supervised detectives, analyzed emerging crime trends, developed response plans and coordinated with other departmental assets to achieve significant reductions in crime.

Lee was instrumental in the execution of the department’s on-body camera system program. He was responsible for the supervision and implementation of a year-long evaluation of the Axon Flex camera system to determine the impact on civil liability, departmental complaints and organizational transparency. He established a partnership with the Arizona State University School of Criminology and Criminal Justice to plan, monitor and evaluate the deployment of the camera systems through the use of line officer surveys and field contact reports.

Lee also served as the Budget and Finance Lieutenant responsible for overseeing and coordinating the budgeting and fiscal planning for the department. He also served as the Communications Lieutenant and exercised management of the emergency 9-1-1 and dispatching services for both police and fire for five Arizona agencies with an annual call volume 1.1 million calls.

He has a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and a Master in Public Administration from Arizona State University.

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 Assistant Chief Sharon Burlingame

Assistant Chief Burlingame joined the Mesa Police Department in 1997. Sherry currently overseas the Investigations Bureau, which includes Criminal Investigations, Special Operations, Metro, and Forensic Services. She was promoted to Assistant Chief in March 2018. She was previously assigned as the commander of the Metro Division, which encompasses Aviation, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport police operations, Holding Facility, Traffic, Special Events, Photo Safety and Towing, Fusion Center, Emergency Management, Intelligence, and Municipal Security. Prior to this assignment, Sherry served as commander for the Criminal Investigations Division and the Red Mountain Patrol Division.

As an officer, Sherry worked patrol, as a field training officer, and on the Bike Unit. Sherry transferred to the Special Investigations Division where she worked as a detective in Gangs and the Special Crimes Apprehension Team. She was promoted to Sergeant in 2004. She supervised patrol units, the Dobson Community Action Team and the Aviation Unit. In October 2010, she was promoted to Lieutenant. During this time, Sherry worked in Patrol, Operations (Investigations), and Special Investigations (Narcotics). Sherry was promoted to Commander in September 2014.

Assistant Chief Burlingame has been a leader in developing the department’s mental health initiative, in particular the Crisis Response Team and the Mental Health Advisory Board. She is also involved with the Human Rights Community Forum and the MPD Community Engagement/Diversity Team and serves as the department’s LGBTQ liaison. Sherry also participates in the Arizona Women’s Initiative Network (AZWIN) to develop future female leaders in law enforcement. She is also part of the leadership team working in partnership with the Mesa Fire Department and Girl Scouts on the ASPIRE Academy to build leadership, self-confidence, and teamwork for 14-17 year old girls, while acquainting them with the police and fire career fields.

Assistant Chief Burlingame has a Bachelor of Science degree in Operations Management from the Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the University of North Dakota. Assistant Chief Burlingame is a graduate of the FBI National Academy for police executives. Prior to joining the police department, she worked as a supervisor in semiconductor manufacturing. Sherry served as a captain in the United States Air Force for nine years. 

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Assistant Chief Dan Butler 

Dan has worked for the Mesa Police Department for eighteen years and was the 2016 recipient of the International Association of Chiefs of Police 40 Under 40 Award. Dan is currently assigned as the Administrative Bureau Assistant Chief. This bureau encompasses a large cross section of the department to include information technology, police 911 operations and dispatch communications, human resources, all aspects of in-service and basic academy training, community engagement, media relations, policy and records. 

In his last assignment, Dan was the Executive Commander. This position represented the Chief of Police, as needed, on various boards and commissions and provided liaison duties with other City departments, including the City Manager's office and City Council.

Prior to that, Assistant Chief Butler commanded the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) where he oversaw Homicide, Financial Crimes, Recovered Property, the Special Victims Unit, the Mesa Family Advocacy Center and the Crisis Response Team. During this time, he and his team successfully facilitated the acquisition of over 1.5 million dollars in grants and developed a comprehensive Therapy Canine Program at the Mesa Family Advocacy Center. This program works with victim families, including children, to bring comfort and peace to those experiencing traumatic moments in life.

Dan has also commanded the Human Resources Division and the Red Mountain Station. He has a Master of Administration degree from Northern Arizona University with an emphasis on Leadership and is a graduate of Northwestern University’s School of Command and Management. 

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Assistant Chief Ken Cost

Assistant Chief Ken Cost has been with the Mesa Police Department for 24 years. Prior to joining the Mesa Police Department, he was a sworn investigator for almost two years with the State of California in East Los Angeles.

Assistant Chief Cost has served in several areas of the department and in every rank leading up to assistant chief. These assignments include: Patrol, Bicycle Unit, Special Investigations-Gang Unit, Community Action Team, Street Crimes, Violent Offender-US Marshal’s Task Force and Criminal Investigations (Homicide, Financial Crimes, and Recovered Property). As a Commander his assignments included Fiesta Patrol, Human Resources and Training. He was promoted to Assistant Chief in March 2018.

Assistant Chief Cost holds a Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice from California State University at Fullerton and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy for Police Executives.

Assistant Chief Cost is very active in the community and volunteers numerous hours throughout the year coaching and mentoring youth.

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Commander Tony Abalos

Commander Abalos has been with the Mesa Police Department for 28 years. He is currently assigned to the Red Mountain Patrol Division where he oversees 113 sworn officers and 13 professional staff members. The Red Mountain Patrol Division is home to over 150,930 residents and services approximately 39 square miles. In addition to Patrol personnel, the Division has a Criminal Investigations Unit and a Street Crimes Unit, with detectives conducting follow-up investigations and proactive problem-solving. The officers assigned to the Red Mountain Patrol Division answer an average of 5,501 monthly calls for service.

Commander Abalos has served in several areas of the Department and in every rank leading up to Commander. These assignments include: Patrol, Bicycle Unit, Special Investigations-Gang Unit, Special Investigations-Intelligence Unit, Community Action Team, Patrol Operations Gang Enforcement, Aviation, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, Organized Crime Section, Professional Services, Special Events and Human Resources.

Commander Abalos holds a Bachelor Degree in Career and Technical Education from Northern Arizona University and is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command.

Commander Abalos is active in the community, volunteering many hours throughout the year mentoring young athletes and coaching youth fastpitch softball.

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Commander Michael Beaton

Commander Michael Beaton has been with the Mesa Police Department for 24 years. Currently he is assigned as the Special Operations Division Commander. Special Operations supports the Mesa Police Department through major crime investigations, tactical, apprehension and undercover operations. Special Operations is home to the Major Crimes Section, Violent Offender Task Force, Gang Investigations, Organized Crime, SWAT, K9 and EOD. Task Forces work within these areas comprised of local law enforcement and federal law enforcement from the ATF, FBI, DEA and U.S. Marshalls Service.

Commander Beaton has served in several areas of the department in every rank up to commander. This includes Patrol, Traffic, Special Investigations Gang Unit, FBI Violent Street Gang Task Force, Special Crime Apprehension Team, Tactical Training Unit, and S.W.A.T. - Officer, Team Leader and Executive Officer. He is a member of the departments Mental Health Advisory Board, actively participating with this important area of our community. As a Commander he has held positions as Metro Division Commander and Red Mountain Patrol Commander. Commander Beaton holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Arizona and a Masters in Leadership from Northern Arizona University. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy Session-266. 

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Commander Mike Bellows

Commander Mike Bellows is a dedicated Law Enforcement Professional with 27 years of experience. He has been a member of the Mesa Police Department since 1990 and has served in a broad range of assignments across operations, investigations, and administration. He is currently assigned to Human Resources which is responsible for Recruiting, Hiring, Basic Training, Advanced Officer Training, Employee Wellness, Off Duty Employment, and Employee Services.

Commander Bellows assignments have included Patrol, Field Training, Recruit Training, SWAT Operator, Sniper Team Leader, Community Action Team, Traffic, Basic Academy, Inspections, Planning, Compstat, and Operations. He is a member of Mesa Police Department Diversity Team, chairs the Chief’s Community Forum for non-profit organizations and serves with Special Olympics Arizona.

Commander Bellows holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Northern Arizona University and is a graduate of the Northwestern University Staff and Command School.

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Commander Jeff Cutler

Jeff Cutler has been with the Mesa Police Department since 1997. He is currently assigned as the Commander of the Superstition Patrol Division. The Division spans more than 70 square miles and is home to 170,000 plus full-time residents. The Superstition Division is comprised of 135 personnel (127 Sworn and 8 professional staff). In addition to patrol personnel, the Division has a Criminal Investigations Unit and Street Crimes Unit, with detectives conducting follow-up investigations and proactive problem-solving for the residents.

During Commander Cutler’s career, he has served in various assignments including; Field Training Officer, Gang Liaison Officer, Bike Officer, and Gang Detective. He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 2006. During this time, he led several patrol teams and spent 4 years leading the Gang Investigations squad. In 2012, he took over management for the East Valley Gang & Criminal Information Fusion Center a multi-jurisdictional intelligence center promoting inter-agency communications on crime trends. Commander Cutler was promoted to Lieutenant in 2014 where he led the departments Policy and Planning Unit and served as the Operations Lieutenant for the Fiesta Division. Upon promotion to Commander, he served as the Executive Commander in the Office of the Chief of Police. This position oversees Professional Standards and the Policy and Planning Section.

Commander Cutler holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Arizona State University and a Master in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix. Prior to joining the Police Department, he held leadership positions at Chase Manhattan Bank and Arizona State University. 

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Commander Michael Dvorak

Commander Michael J. Dvorak brings thirty years of law enforcement service, experience and expertise to his position. He has been a member of the Mesa Police Department since 1987 and a member of the Command Staff since 2004.

Commander Dvorak has worked diligently to advance the law enforcement profession. He has long been at the forefront of developing innovative policing strategies, regional partnerships, evidence-based initiatives, organizational accountability and neighborhood-based programs, while leading organizational change in his areas of responsibility. His cross-functional experience includes: field operations, investigations, personnel development, support services, planning, management of financial resources and extensive community involvement.

Commander Dvorak serves as a member of the Major Cities Chiefs Intelligence Command Group (MCCICG), International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) and the East Valley Chief’s Association. He is also a graduate of the Southern Police Institute Leadership Academy. He holds a Bachelor Degree in Justice Studies from Arizona State University and a Master Degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University.

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Police Community Partnership Administrator
Tara Hall

Tara joined the Mesa Police Department in 2002 and had previously worked in Forensic Services as a Crime Scene Unit Supervisor until promoting to the Human Resources Unit in 2012 where she managed the Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) and Collegiate Internship program. In 2018, she was promoted to Police Community Partnership Administrator overseeing the operations of the Community Engagement Division including the Youth Development Unit, the Recruitment Unit and Community Programs Unit.

She has a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University. In 2016, she graduated from the AZPOST Executive Leadership Program and the Mesa Chamber Success Leadership Academy in 2019. She was nominated for Civilian of the Year in 2017 for her dedication to the VIPS (Volunteers in Police Service) program.

In the Community, Tara is a member of the Community Engagement Advisory Board with Mesa Community College and is the Department Liaison for the City of Mesa Human Relations Board. She also serves as an advisor for the Arizona Women’s Education and Employment ‘SheLEADS’ professional development training series associated with A New Leaf.

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Commander Thom Intrieri

Commander Thom Intrieri has worked for the Mesa Police Department for the past 23 years. He is currently assigned as the Commander of the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) and the Mesa Family Advocacy Center (MFAC).

The CID/MFAC is comprised of 90 personnel (62 sworn, 28 professional staff). The CID/MFAC includes the following units:

  • Computer Forensics
  • Document Crimes
  • Financial Crimes
  • Homicide
  • Human Exploitation and Trafficking
  • Missing Persons
  • Sex Offender Notification & Tracking
  • Special Victims (crimes against persons)
  • Victim Services

In addition, the Arizona Department of Child Safety has several Office of Child Welfare Investigations (OCWI) investigators embedded at the MFAC.

Commander Intrieri has worked as the Commander previously at the Superstition Patrol Division, the Special Operations Division, and the Fiesta Patrol Division (Interim basis). He was promoted to the rank of Commander in April 2015.

Commander Intrieri has had a successful career in his previous assignments by contributing to the Department and City efforts to provide a safe community through crime reduction and safe streets. As a Lieutenant (promoted 2008), he worked in the following areas;

  • Fiesta Division – Operations Lieutenant
  • Metro Division – Traffic Lieutenant
  • Dobson Division – District Coordinator
  • Superstition Division – Patrol Lieutenant

As a Sergeant (promoted 2001), Commander Intrieri worked as a Patrol Sergeant, Motor Sergeant and Advanced Training Sergeant.

Thom is actively involved in his community and has been the President of a non-profit youth soccer organization since 2009, while serving 6,000 youth each year. Thom earned a Master’s degree from Northern Arizona University in Organizational Leadership and has a Bachelor’s of Science in Finance/Accounting from Hofstra University (New York). 

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Forensic Services Administrator Kim Meza

Kimberly joined the Mesa Police Department in 2000. She began her career as a Forensic Scientist in the Biology Unit, performing serology, DNA and blood spatter analysis. Kimberly was promoted to Forensic Services Supervisor over the Biology Unit in 2007. In December 2011, she was promoted to Forensic Services Administrator overseeing the operations of the laboratory including the Administrative Business Unit, Biology Unit, Controlled Substances Unit, Crime Scene Unit, Evidence Processing Unit, Fingerprint Identification Unit, Firearms Unit, Laboratory Technician Unit, Latent Print Unit, Photography Unit and Toxicology Unit. She has a M.S. degree in Forensic Science from the University of New Haven and B.S. degree with a double major in Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology from the University of Arizona. 

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Commander Gina Nesbit

Commander Nesbit has been with the Mesa Police Department for 22 years. She is currently assigned as the Metro Resources Division Commander where she oversees the Aviation Unit, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, Traffic Unit, Special Events, Fusion Center, Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism Unit, Holding Facility, Photo Safety and Towing, and Municipal Security.

Commander Nesbit has worked in various assignments in every rank in the Mesa Police Department. These assignments include Patrol, Special Victim’s Unit Detective, Training (Basic Training Academy Sergeant and Training Lieutenant), Central Division Criminal Investigations Sergeant, Mobile Field Force Commander, and Traffic Lieutenant. Commander Nesbit has a Bachelors of Science Degree in Business Administration and a Master’s Degree in Administration – Leadership Emphasis.

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Commander Bill Peters

Commander Bill Peters has served with the Mesa Police Department for over 25 years. He is currently oversees the Technical Services Division. Commander Peters has a diverse background in police leadership. In addition to Patrol Division Operations, Commander Peters has directly supervised the Traffic Unit, Organized Crime Bureau, Asset Forfeiture Unit, Air Unit, SWAT, K-9, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Police Operations, Forensic Services Section, Support Services Section and Criminal Investigations Division. A former motor, Commander Peters has an extensive background in drug and alcohol DUI enforcement and education. He is a subject matter expert for the Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) program and continues to work closely with Federal, State and Local agencies to improve traffic safety.

Commander Peters holds a Master Degree in Public Administration from Arizona State University, a Master Degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University and a Bachelor Degree in Public Administration from the University of Arizona. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, session 230, and a member of the International Association of Chief’s of Police DRE Subcommittee.

Commander Peters is the President of the Arizona Chapter of the FBI National Academy Association and past President of the Mesa Sunrise Rotary Club.

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Commander Ruben Quesada

Commander Ruben Quesada has been with the Mesa Police Department for nearly 23 years. Prior to joining the Mesa Police Department, he was a sworn reserve police officer with the Glendale, Arizona Police Department.

Commander Quesada has served in several areas of the department in various ranks leading to his appointment to Commander. These assignments include: Narcotics Detective, Media Relations, Criminal Investigations Division, Mesa Family Advocacy Center, Street Crimes, Gang Unit, Operations (Superstition District), Internal Affairs, and Human Resources.

Commander Quesada holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Northern Arizona University, a Master’s Degree from the University of Phoenix, and a Doctorate in Education from Grand Canyon University. His area of research and dissertation involves the Latino self-identity, the police organizational culture, and the use of the Spanish language. Commander Quesada is an adjunct Professor of Criminal Justice at Benedictine University at Mesa.

Commander Quesada is very active in the community and is a member of the Mesa Association of Hispanic Citizens (MAHC), the East Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (EVHCC), the International Hispanic Network, and the Mesa United Way.

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Staff Attorney Nancy Sorensen

Nancy Sorensen currently serves as the Staff Attorney for the Chief of Police and Executive staff and oversees Internal Affairs and the Legal Advisor.

Nancy was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois and the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. She attended Albion College in Albion, Michigan and Valparaiso University School of Law in Valparaiso, Indiana.

From 1984 through 1994 Nancy served as a Magistrate at the 48th District Court in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan where she was responsible for presiding over misdemeanor and felony arraignments, bond hearings, probation violation hearings, sentencing on misdemeanor crimes as permitted by statute, small claims trials (civil trials under $1500.00) and conducted marriage ceremonies.

From 1994 through 1999 Nancy served as the managing attorney over the City of Detroit’s Criminal Prosecution Section where she was responsible for overseeing a staff of 21 prosecuting attorneys and clerical staff in addition to approximately 100,000 criminal prosecutions a year to include environmental offenses, narcotics offenses, and vice offenses.

From 2000 through 2007 Nancy served as managing attorney over the City of Detroit’s Police Misconduct Section and the Labor and Employment Section, where she was responsible for managing a staff of attorneys and clerical staff in addition to providing counsel, advice, and representation to Detroit’s Police Chief, to the Detroit Police Internal Affairs Section, and all City Departments in State and Federal Court and State appellate court on litigation concerning sexual harassment, first amendment, whistleblowers, etc. 

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Commander Ed Wessing

Commander Wessing has been with the Mesa Police Department for 22 years. He is currently assigned to the Fiesta Patrol Division which is home to nearly 100,000 residents and services 15.62 square miles. The Fiesta Division is home to Mesa Community College, the largest community college in the state, Banner Desert Hospital, Cardon Children’s Hospital, multiple apartment communities, and 23 schools including 2 high schools. The Fiesta Patrol Division is staffed with 137 sworn officers and 12 civilian staff members. The officers assigned to Fiesta Patrol Division answer an average of 6,484 monthly calls for service.

Commander Wessing has worked in various assignments in every rank in the Mesa Police Department. These assignments include: Patrol, Bicycle Unit, School Resource Officer, Traffic, Media Relations, Training, Criminal Investigations (Homicide, Financial Crimes, and Recovered Property) and Human Resources (Hiring and Training). Commander Wessing has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Northern Arizona University and an MBA from Benedictine University. 

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Fiscal Manager Krisa York

Krisa York is the Mesa Police Department’s Fiscal Manager. She has been with the Police Department for 18 years and in the capacity of Fiscal Manager for five years. Krisa is an Arizona native and graduate from the University of Arizona. She is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner, and Certified in Financial Forensics. She joined the department as the Economic Crime Investigator where she spent over twelve years providing technical financially related investigative support to various units within the Police Department and to outside agencies.

In her role as Fiscal Manager, Krisa supervises a staff of 10. The Mesa Police Department’s Fiscal unit is tasked primarily with preparing and overseeing a budget of $188M, the successful coordination and processing of all department purchases, the department’s fleet, oversight and monitoring of over 60 grants and task forces annually, and the monitoring of the anti-racketeering fund. Prior to joining the Mesa Police Department, Krisa spent twelve years in Public Accounting specializing in litigation support, and governmental and not for profit audits.