Less than four months into 2014, and already the Phoenix area has seen 13 officer-involved shootings, five of them in March alone.
On Tuesday, an officer-involved shooting shutdown an intersection of downtown Phoenix. On March 3, a veteran officer was killed by a suspect and another was wounded.
While lack of respect for authority figures may be a societal problem, one Valley expert says the economy may actually be to blame for the increase.
“It appears that — and this is in consultation with officers and academics here in the Valley and nationally — we’re seeing a trend…that in the last five to seven years, law enforcement numbers have dropped dramatically, due to economic downturns,” Dr. Jeffeory Hynes, professor of criminal studies at Glendale Community College, told 92.3 KTAR’s Mac and Gaydos Wednesday.
Case in point: Phoenix used to have 3,400 law enforcement personnel just a few years ago, Hynes said, but now, the city only has about 2,800.
To compensate for fewer employees, law enforcement agencies are removing their officers from “non-critical conditions,” such as neighborhood and drug-free school programs.
“What we’re finding is that you’re losing touch with your communities,” Hynes said. “The communities are not seeing their officer and making that connection to their officer as ‘this is my officer, Officer Jeff or Officer John or Officer Bill,'” Hynes said.
The trouble with losing an officer’s community identity, Hynes added, is that he or she then becomes “just a part of the system and not part of the community.”
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- Here’s why Gaydos went tankless with his water heater
- 12 things to watch before the Oscars
- Bocce ball and basketball: How you can help Arizona's Special Olympics athletes
- Tips on building the best wine room in Arizona
- Avoid the nightmare: 6 tips to choose a great contractor
- Breast cancer: Improved testing and treatments means more survivors
- Best and worst of Super Bowl commercials
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain
- Ticking time bombs: Telltale signs your water heater is about to explode
- Reading glasses could be a thing of the past
- 6 cool ways teachers are using technology in the classroom
- Emerging tech jobs in Phoenix and how to get one in 2017
- 4 top treatments athletes use for pain
- Emergency! What to do when bathrooms flood
- Operation Santa Claus needs holiday help
- This college bowl season is likely to be epic
- Arizona kids in crisis: How you can help
- 11 holiday classics for the ultimate movie marathon
- New treatment offers hope for migraine sufferers
- 11 stadiums to watch your favorite football team
- Shopping for a TV? Best models for 2016
- The new beer pairing guide for holiday foods
- Avoid this holiday plumbing disaster in your home
- 7 tips to avoid holiday weight gain
- New treatments mean better prostate cancer survival rates
- 5 of the scariest things found in drains
- 6 tips to create the best family movie night
- Arizona Rep. Kyrsten Sinema: ‘It’s my job’ to attend Trump inauguration
- Arizona. Gov. Doug Ducey to push for teacher raises in upcoming months
- Gov. Doug Ducey: I approve of border wall ‘as long as it benefits Arizona’
- ‘Supernatural’ TV show convention comes to Arizona
- Jan Brewer thinks Paul Penzone will have tough time beating Sheriff Joe Arpaio