Violent, property crime up, burglaries fall in 2016 in Phoenix
PHOENIX — Both violent and property crimes in Phoenix increased in 2016 while the number of burglaries fell, Police Chief Jeri Williams announced Monday.
In a letter to the community posted on Nextdoor — a neighborhood-based social media app — Williams wrote violent crime was up 13 percent. Property crimes increased 4.3 percent.
“Despite this, I remain confident we are one of the safest major cities in the United States,” she wrote in the letter.
Exact figures on the number of violent and property crimes were not given.
The department reported a notable drop in burglaries. Last year, there were 13,024 burglaries in Phoenix. The last time there were fewer than 13,000 such crimes was 1969.
“I attribute this drop to the hard-working, professional men and women of your Phoenix Police Department,” Williams wrote.
The letter did not state exact figures on the number of burglaries.
The chief also discussed her promises to suppress and prevent crime, engage with the community, hire more officers, care for her employees more and increase the department’s legitimacy.
Williams said the department is expected to grow to 3,125 sworn officers next year — the first employee increase in nearly eight years — and is stepping up recruitment efforts in the region.
“Our focus is to select the best candidates that reflect our own Phoenix community,” she said, adding that the campaign will have a focus on military bases and colleges.
Williams, the city’s first female chief, was sworn in last year. She took the place of Joe Yahner, who served as chief after Daniel Garcia was fired in 2014.