Khan Steps Down as Phoenix Chief

Chief Bob Khan said he wants to spend more time with his ill father.


Phoenix Fire Chief Bob Khan has decided to step down to help care for his elderly father.

Khan, a 31-year veteran of the department, told the city he wants to spend time with his 82-year-old father who is suffering from Alzheimer's.

His departure is the latest in a slew of high-profile retirements that have stirred concerns about a loss of institutional knowledge and stability at City Hall, The Arizona Republic reported.

“During the holidays, I got to spend some time with my dad, and I could see how his Alzheimer’s had progressed and that his cognitive function was rapidly deteriorating,” Khan announced.  “I didn’t think it would be fair to the city to try to care for my dad, and I didn’t think it was fair to my dad to put my career in front of his health.”

In 2006, Khan replaced his mentor, Chief Alan Burnacini, who served for 28 years. Khan served as an assistant chief and spokesman.

He took the helm of the department at a time when it faced challenges including burgeoning growth, a wave of retirements and an outdated communications system, the paper reported.