Former Phoenix homicide detective Jennifer DiPonzio has forfeited her license to be a police officer in Arizona after ABC15 highlighted repeated mistakes in her evidence handling. Her errors, which included failing to properly document, impound, and handle various types of evidence, impacted at least 37 active court cases and 61 police investigations. DiPonzio, who retired under a confidential disability claim, was the subject of an ongoing internal investigation which Phoenix police officials failed to disclose when notifying the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board (AZPOST) about her departure.
Former Phoenix Homicide Detective Forfeits License Amidst Evidence Handling Mistakes
A former Phoenix-based homicide detective, Jennifer DiPonzio, has voluntarily relinquished her certification as a police officer in Arizona. This follows revelations by ABC15 of recurrent mishandling of evidence in her cases, leading to an investigation by the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board (AZPOST).
AZPOST’s decision to accept DiPonzio’s voluntary relinquishment came during their recent monthly meeting. The investigation was spurred directly by an ABC15 report earlier this year that shed light on the detective’s errors affecting at least 37 active court cases and 61 police investigations. DiPonzio had failed to adequately document, impound, and handle various types of evidence over multiple years, records indicate.
In 2021, confronted by a supervisor about her mistakes, DiPonzio, married to a Phoenix assistant chief, opted for a medical leave. Subsequently, she officially retired under a confidential disability claim on December 27, 2022.
However, it appears Phoenix police officials mishandled her departure. They failed to report her ongoing internal investigation to AZPOST, a requirement under Arizona law. The AZPOST guidelines mandate that agencies submit a Termination Notice whenever an officer leaves employment, indicating any known conduct potentially violating the Arizona Administrative Code.
Despite having opened an internal investigation into DiPonzio’s mishandling of evidence over a year prior, Phoenix marked “no” on her termination notice. The internal investigation was only finalized and submitted post ABC15’s reporting and subsequent inquiries by AZPOST on the nondisclosure.
For additional information, contact ABC15 Chief Investigator at Dave@ABC15.com.