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Commander Greg Carnicle

Phoenix Arizona Police Department
End of Watch: 03/29/2020

Commander Greg Carnicle


Greg Carnicle hated attention. A 31-year member of the Phoenix Police Department, Carnicle always wanted to make a difference but had no interest in getting either credit or a share of the spotlight. “After he passed, we found awards and stuff that none of us ever knew about because he put them in a drawer,” said Greg’s family.

He wanted to make a difference for people in every aspect of his life. “He was always present,” his family recalled. “He worked a lot but when he was there he was always there for us and not only his family, [but also] his friends – the amount of lives he affected and was present in, it was amazing.” That could mean helping a neighbor mow their lawn or helping one of his three daughters or his son renovate their home.

He also knew how to embrace life’s joy. His son John recalled at a memorial service that Greg was “always the life of the party” – but only after he knew that everyone else was having a good time. “He just would be silly and dance with whoever, whenever,” his family said. His grandchildren especially brought that side out in him. “He would just melt and be the goofiest guy you ever met,” the family remembered.

Colleagues knew him for a dry sense of humor and an empathetic if direct demeanor. He held numerous positions during his three decades on the force, starting as a patrol officer and rising to hold supervisory positions in the Special Assignments Unit, the K-9 unit, the Professional Standards Bureau and the Crime Lab. As he neared retirement, however, he yearned to return to his roots protecting Phoenix at the street level so he requested to be made duty commander for patrol. “He hated the paperwork,” the family said. “He would rather be with his fellow officers in the midst of it all.” 

In March 2020 he and other officers responded to a domestic disturbance call. The subject eventually opened fire, killing Carnicle and wounding two other officers. “For such a high-ranking officer to be going into a situation like that – it’s just the person he was,” his family said. “He wouldn’t have had it any other way. … He would want to be there by [his fellow officers’] side.”

His wife stated, “Greg was very mindful of needing to be present with me and our kids. He was an active father, and as my husband was all love. I'm very proud of the officer he was. He was filled with integrity and humbleness. It was surely his calling. He is always loved and greatly missed.”




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