Phoenix leaders, police union chief disagree on staffing situation
PHOENIX — Officials in Phoenix said police staffing was in good shape, including hiring, but the leader of the police officers’ union said the department was still lagging.
“We’re still feeling the squeeze of lack of manpower,” Ken Crane, president of Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, said. “The good thing is about a year ago the department did start hiring. …
“But it’s going to take years and years and years to dig out of this hole.”
In a partial statement released Thursday, the city said, “There is no crisis. We have a talented police force and are in full hiring mode to find more officers who want to work for one of the best police departments in the country.”
The city wants a force of 3,125 officers on the job by summer. The staffing was at 2,936 and included 110 recruits, according to the statement.
“This city growing like crazy,” Crane said Thursday on KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News, adding there were nearly 3,400 officers on duty in 2008.
World Population Review listed Phoenix as the fifth-largest city in the country at nearly 1.7 million.
Now there are fewer officers with more people living here, he said.
Crane said recent data took a look at the property crimes bureau.
There was an increase in number of cases assigned, the number of open cases but a decrease in the number of detectives.
“All of our detective details are feeling similar issues,” he said.
KTAR News’ Martha Maurer contributed to this report.