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A veteran Phoenix cop threatened to put the city’s mayor in his cross hairs if she defunded its police department, a recently released police report shows.
The officer, Steven Poulos, allegedly made the comment during an Oct. 21 briefing with seven Phoenix officers, according to the report obtained Monday by the Arizona Republic via a public records request.
“If the mayor defunds the police, I’m going to shoot her,” Poulos allegedly said in reference to Mayor Kate Gallego, according to the Tempe police report citing his sergeant.
“You’re not going to shoot the mayor,” Poulos’ sergeant replied, ending the silence in the room following the officer’s comments, according to the report.
But Poulos only doubled down on his threat.
“That’s a promise,” he said, the report states.
The rogue officer tried to backtrack after the meeting, claiming to his sergeant that his comments were made in jest, but department officials asked Tempe police to criminally investigate the matter, the Arizona Republic reported.
“I don’t know why they made a [big] deal about it, it was just a joke,” Poulos reportedly insisted.
Poulos was taken off patrol in October and assigned to home duties. He now faces possible charges of making a terrorist threat and threatening or intimidating someone, according to the Tempe police report.
Other cops at the precinct briefing, however, remember Poulos saying something slightly different.
“If they defund us, the first person on my list is the mayor,” one officer recalled Poulos saying. A third cop said Poulos vowed to go to Gallego’s house and “shoot it up,” according to the police report.
A police detective in Tempe interviewed Poulos’ sergeant and five other officers at the briefing as part of the criminal probe, which has been forwarded to Maricopa County prosecutors.
The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office did not respond to inquiries on whether it plans to charge Poulos and Phoenix police did not respond to questions on the officer’s employment status, the Arizona Republic reported.
A message seeking additional comment from Phoenix police early Tuesday was not immediately returned.
Poulos and his attorney, meanwhile, declined to comment when reached by the Arizona Republic.
The officer, who joined the department in 1998, must retire within five years after the city’s pension board approved a deferred retirement plan for him in October prior to his threatening comments, according to the report.
A spokeswoman for Gallego — who voted along with the city council in June to increase the budget of Phoenix police — declined to comment on Poulos when reached by The Post.
“The mayor is awaiting completion of the legal process as well as the Phoenix Police Department’s internal investigation,” spokeswoman Jeanine L’Ecuyer wrote in an email.
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