Somerton Police Chief Turitto Earns Job Permanently

Dec 10, 2018

UPDATE MARCH 28: Joseph Turitto has resigned his post as Somerton police chief.

The Yuma Sun reports Turitto stepped down Thursday and his resignation is effective immediately.

Somerton City Manager Ian McGaughey said Turitto cited personal reasons for his resignation.

Somerton police Lt. Araceli Juarez will serve as acting chief while a search begins for a new chief as soon as Monday.

Turitto’s resignation comes as state transportation officials investigate anonymous allegations that Somerton police officers used department vehicles to drive to the Phoenix area where they had side jobs as security guards at various events.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Somerton's interim Police Chief Joseph Turitto has earned the job on a permanent basis.

The Somerton City Council voted to appoint Turitto last week.

"I think it will be a good move for the city," said Somerton City Manager Ian McGaughey, who made the recommendation. "In the six months Chief Turitto has been in the position, he's moved the city in a positive direction."

Chief Turitto had served in an interim capacity since June when Chief Jeffrey Cavender left the position. Before that, Turitto was a captain for the department.

Turitto previously served in the police departments in Glendale and Avondale. His salary in Somerton will be $88,458, the Yuma Sun reported.

McGaughey said Turitto and officers have been more present at community events including the recent Corn Festival and will be at Saturday's Tamale Festival. Another addition for the department is a new K-9 officer donated by the Yuma Police Department.