More Phoenix-area officers involved in shootings this year than all of 2017
PHOENIX – Wednesday night’s freeway incident that left an Arizona Department of Public Safety trooper dead was the 55th officer-involved shooting in the Phoenix area, according to statistics compiled by ABC15.
The Valley saw 43 officer-involved shootings in all of 2017, according to Maricopa County records.
With four months left in the year, the 2018 figure is the highest since 2013, when there were 59 such incidents.
Trooper Tyler Edenhofer was shot and killed during a struggle with a suspect on Interstate 10 in Avondale. A second trooper, Dalin Dorris was shot in the shoulder and is expected to recover.
The suspect, who hasn’t been identified, was taken into custody.
ABC15 has been tracking and mapping the 2018 shootings. Wednesday’s was the first in which an officer was killed.
Darren Burch worked for the Phoenix Police Department from 1986 to 2014. He told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes that the job is harder now than ever before.
“I think it’s more difficult now to be an officer than ever before because it’s so dangerous out there,” Burch said.
Area law-enforcement agencies have been taking note in the rise in violent encounters with suspects.
Earlier this month, the Phoenix City Council authorized a $150,000 study into the increase in officer-involved shootings in the city. The study, to be conducted by the National Police Foundation in conjunction with Arizona State University, was requested by Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams.
In Mesa, after a series of videos were released showing alleged police brutality, two investigations were launched last month.
Former Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley was brought in to oversee one of the probes. The Washington D.C.-based Police Executive Research Forum also was asked to investigate the department’s use of force over past three years as well as its policies, procedures and training.