Phoenix proposal could send civilians to respond to simple police calls
PHOENIX — More civilians, not sworn police officers, could soon join the Phoenix Police Department and respond to nonemergency calls.
The city budget proposal before the council included $1.3 million to hire 16 additional civilians, also known as police assistants.
Sgt. Jonathan Howard with the Phoenix Police Department said there are already 122 assistants working for the department.
“What these new police assistants will do is actually go out and take calls for services,” he said.
“So there could be minor traffic collisions that a police assistant would go out and investigate.”
Howard added assistants would also respond to priority-three calls.
That included going out and reporting on a crime that already occurred and where it was unlikely that there would be a suspect, such as an overnight burglary or a stolen car.
“The immediate benefit that we’ll see is that frees up officers to more quickly and more safely respond to the priority calls,” Howard said.
City leaders will hold 17 community meetings in April to discuss the proposed budget with residents.