Phoenix Police expanding recruiting efforts as numbers continue to fall
PHOENIX — Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams said the department is expanding its recruiting efforts across the state and nationally as officer numbers continue to decrease.
The department is holding recruiting events in Ohio on Nov. 6-7, the first time Phoenix Police has traveled to try and boost numbers since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We found through some metrics that [Ohio] is going to be a great place to recruit folks,” Williams told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Wednesday.
“Folks from the Midwest want to leave that kind of weather and come here to sunny amazing Phoenix, Arizona, to become police officers.”
— KTAR News 92.3 (@KTAR923) October 27, 2021
Williams said she hopes the Cleveland and Columbus events can get the force closer to the 3,125 total allotted for the department.
Phoenix Police is down about 350 officers as of late October, according to Williams.
Williams added that the department would look into adding Arizona officers that lost their jobs due to noncompliance for COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
Phoenix Police continues to offer $7,500 hiring bonuses as an incentive for a department that’s faced scrutiny over the ongoing Department of Justice civil rights and abuses of power investigation.
Williams said morale issues remain, but leaders are working to get a better pulse on how employees are feeling about their jobs.
“I have to go out and talk to my people and tell them what we’re doing and why we’re doing what we’re doing,” Williams said. “So we’ve been hitting briefings and we’ve been overcommunicating to our employees.”