Phoenix police end year with fewer shootings after record high in 2018

Jan 2, 2020, 9:04 AM
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)...
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — Phoenix police ended 2019 with significantly fewer officer-involved shootings than the department’s record-breaking number the previous year.

In 2018, there were 44 shootings that involved Phoenix officers, breaking the previous record of 33 in 2013.

According to statistics compiled by KTAR News 92.3 FM, there were only 15 in 2019, a 66% drop.

Public outcry after 2018’s record high led the city to commission a National Police Foundation and Arizona State University study to analyze reasons for the increase.

That year, Chief Jeri Williams said there was no “no trending location, intersection or neighborhood.” Rather, the shootings were happening all across the city. 

In August 2019, the city announced three changes to the department’s policy based on the results of the study.

Those changes included equipping all officers on patrol with body cameras, extending mental health crisis intervention training to all officers and requiring officers to track every time a weapon is pointed at a person.

The department also in the fall began releasing “critical incident briefing” videos following officer-involved shootings as part of a pledge to increase transparency and accountability.

Throughout the Valley, there were 39 officer-involved shootings in 2019, according to KTAR News statistics.

Besides Phoenix, the other agencies involved in shootings were the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Arizona Department of Transportation, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and police departments in Tempe, Peoria, Glendale, Mesa, Buckeye and El Mirage.

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Phoenix police end year with fewer shootings after record high in 2018