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AZCentral | The Arizona Republic

Cottonwood police chief placed on administrative leave

By Lacey Latch, Arizona Republic,


Cottonwood police Chief Steve Gesell was placed on nondisciplinary administrative leave last week while "certain internal matters are being addressed," according to a news release from the city.

Gesell's leave began last Thursday. Because personnel matters are confidential, the city declined to provide any additional information.

Cmdr. Gareth Braxton is serving as the acting chief of police in the interim.

Gesell was first appointed to lead the Cottonwood Police Department in 2016 after spending two decades with the Scottsdale Police Department.

He most recently ran an unsuccessful campaign for the Arizona House of Representatives in Legislative District 1 in 2022. The district covers a large portion of Yavapai County, including Cottonwood.

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