PLEA president expects Phoenix Police DOJ probe to hurt recruiting efforts

Aug 9, 2021, 11:45 AM | Updated: Sep 7, 2021, 5:02 pm
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)

PHOENIX — The president of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association expects recruiting efforts for Phoenix Police to be hurt by the Department of Justice’s investigation over potential civil rights violations and abuses of power.

Britt London said regardless of the outcome of the investigation, the perception of the department and morale within it will be damaged.

Phoenix Police employs about 2,800 officers, down from about 3,500 a decade ago, according to London.

“Our numbers are already suffering, but add on top of that the optics or the way the officers may perceive the Department of Justice coming in and conducting an investigation and that’s just going to add to the people that are leaving,” London told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Monday.

London is worried that for officers who are considering leaving, the investigation could be the final straw to jump ship, whether that be to a different department or out of the profession.

“I think that some people here are just looking for that last reason to leave,” London said. “This certainly won’t help anything and it won’t help the department in recruiting.

“You can look at the departments around the Valley and go, ‘Hey, they don’t have the DOJ investigating them, maybe I’ll go over there.’ So yeah, it’s a big concern.”

London said it “remains to be seen” how he will feel about the investigation, which Chief Jeri Williams said last week would likely take more than a year.

The DOJ’s Civil Rights Division will review the police department’s use-of-force practices as part of the probe. It will also look for patterns of retaliation over activity protected under the First Amendment and discrimination against people with disabilities or who are homeless.

The DOJ reviewed media reports, court files and citizen complaints before deciding to move forward with the Phoenix probe.

“This is something that we haven’t gone through before, of course,” London said. “So, you know, the first thing we did was start reaching out to our friends that have had to deal with the DOJ and quite honestly, no one had anything really good to say about it.

“So it’s definitely going to be something very different for Phoenix officers.”

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Facebook File Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

Pedestrian crossing street killed in Laveen following hit-and-run

Phoenix police are investigating a fatal hit-and-run collision after a pedestrian died Tuesday evening in Laveen Village.
16 hours ago
(Coronado National Forest Photo)...
Kevin Stone

Forest officials warn visitors about shipping container wall at Arizona border

Officials are warning Coronado National Forest visitors about potential safety hazards related to shipping container border wall construction in southern Arizona.
16 hours ago
Shaqueila Hudson (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)...

Woman accused of fatally stabbing boyfriend during argument in Phoenix

A woman was arrested for allegedly stabbing her boyfriend to death during an argument Tuesday in Phoenix, authorities said.
16 hours ago
(Photos via Buckeye Police Department)...

Buckeye Police boost reward to $12,000 for tips in fatal hit-and-run of 16-year-old girl

Authorities have upped the reward for tips in the fatal hit-and-run of a 16-year-old girl more than two years ago in Buckeye.
16 hours ago
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)...

Mesa police fatally shoot man who allegedly drove into patrol vehicle

Police shot and killed a man who allegedly drove into a patrol vehicle outside a Mesa convenience store early Wednesday.
16 hours ago
President Joe Biden speaks about manufacturing jobs and the economy at SK Siltron CSS, a computer c...

President Joe Biden schedules visit to Phoenix for next week

President Joe Biden will visit a Phoenix microchip plant next week to tout his economic plan, the White House announced Wednesday.
16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
PLEA president expects Phoenix Police DOJ probe to hurt recruiting efforts