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.”
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them
- Today's radiation treatments offer better success, fewer side effects
- Tips to make watching TV on the patio even better
- What really happens when you donate to a community college?
- Sun and skin cancer: Separating fact from fiction
- 5 critical lifestyle changes for a healthy colon
- Jan Brewer thinks Paul Penzone will have tough time beating Sheriff Joe Arpaio
- Mac & Gaydos joined by Burmese python after losing March Madness bet
- Mac and Gaydos deliver pizzas to winning class in REDucation contest
- Civil rights activist wants Phoenix-area NAACP boss to step down after incident
- Cindy McCain talks Syrians refugees’ plight, trafficking in Arizona