Surprise builds home, fulfills dream for family

Cheers, tears of joy and laughter in the Surprise Original Town Site today as the Human Service and Community Vitality Department handed over the keys of a newly constructed 1,300 square foot home to a local family.

The three bedroom, two bathroom Habitat for Humanity-constructed home was built as part of the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, an income-based grant that assists families with rehabilitation activities.

Estellene Williams recognized that her home was in need of major repair to make it safe for her family but lacked the means to cover the cost of the rehab. Williams contacted Neighborhood Services, a division of Human Service and Community Vitality, to inquire about grants that could offer financial assistance and learned that her home was eligible for a demolition and complete rebuild.

Construction of the home began in late 2014 and took approximately seven months.

Today, friends, family, Habitat for Humanity staff and city leadership, including city manager Bob Wingenroth, Councilmember Skip Hall, and Councilmember Rachel Villanueva, attended the presentation of the house.

A dream achieved, Estellene Williams cut the ribbon, received her keys and is excited to be moving into her new home.

The Williams’ home is one of five Surprise homes constructed thanks to the HOME grant. Although the new construction provision is no longer available in the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, qualified residents can still receive assistance for major home repairs.

Additional grant programs available through Neighborhood Services include the Homebuyer’s Assistance Program, Emergency Housing Rehabilitation Program and the Major Rehabilitation Program.

To learn more about neighborhood grants and housing programs in Surprise, contact Jason Hughes at 623.222.3239 or

Ceremony honors new PD Chief & ACM

Ceremony honors new PD Chief & ACM
Pictured L to R: City Manager Bob Wingenroth, Mayor Sharon Wolcott, Police Chief Terry Young, Assistant City Manager Michael Frazier, Councilmember Rachel Villanueva, Councilmember Skip Hall, Councilmember Jim Biundo, Councilmember Roland F. Winters.

Councilman Hall attended a ceremony on July 9 in honor of our new Police Chief, Terry Young, and our new Assistant City Manager, Michael Frazier. The two leaders will start their new roles on Monday, July 13, 2015.


Team Building: Surprise announces new police chief; former chief takes new city role

Surprise City Manager Bob Wingenroth today announced key organizational leadership changes involving Surprise Police and the City Manager’s Office.

Following a 40-year career in law enforcement, Surprise Police Chief Michael Frazier has accepted the position of Assistant City Manager, replacing the retiring April Reynolds.

Terry Young, the former Surprise Assistant Police Chief, has been named the new Chief of Police.

“What a great day for Surprise,” says Wingenroth. “Mike Frazier brings 40 years of law enforcement and municipal government experience to City Hall and thanks to his mentor-style leadership our Police Department will now be led by another outstanding chief in Terry Young.”

Assistant City Manager Michael Frazier
Assistant City Manager Michael Frazier

Frazier became the Surprise Police Chief in 2011, previously having served as the Police Chief for the City of El Mirage. He began his law enforcement career with the Phoenix Police Department, where he served for 32 years before retiring as Executive Police Chief. (Read Frazier’s full bio)

“It has been an honor to lead such a great group of officers, professional staff and volunteers here in Surprise and I leave knowing our officers and entire community will be well-served by our new Police Chief Terry Young,” says Frazier. “I very much look forward to continuing my love of public service now as an assistant city manager.”

During his tenure as police chief, Frazier enhanced police-community relationships that resulted in an 18% drop in crime from 2012-2014. In his new role, Frazier will oversee the following departments: Police, Fire-Medical, Public Works and Communications.

Surprise Police Chief Terry Young
Surprise Police Chief Terry Young

Young joined the Surprise Police Department in 2010, after retiring from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office as Deputy Chief. During his more than 25-year career, Young oversaw a variety of law enforcement divisions including Patrol Operations, Investigations and Personnel Management. (Read Young’s full bio)

“What a privilege it is to lead the amazing men and women that make up the Surprise Police Department,” says Young. “Their dedication to serving and protecting our residents is unyielding and the tremendous support we receive from our residents will continue to ensure Surprise remains one of the safest communities in the country.”

Young, who now leads a department of 190 sworn officers and professional staff, is also an active member of the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police, International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Police Executive Research Forum.

“During this time of celebration I want to personally thank April Reynolds for her 10 years of service to Surprise” adds Wingenroth. “Her friendship and leadership helped to make this a great organization for employees, which in turn resulted in top-notch service provided to our residents.”

Reynolds joined the city’s Human Resources Department in 2005 where she rose through the ranks to become the Human Resources Director and named an Assistant City Manager in 2014.

The leadership changes are effective beginning Monday, July 13.

Save the date: A ceremony is planned for Thursday, July 9, in the Community Room of City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, at 2 p.m. Speakers include City Manager Bob Wingenroth, Mayor Sharon Wolcott, Assistant City Manager Michael Frazier and Police Chief Terry Young. A reception in the Mayor’s Atrium will follow the speaking event.