ARIZONA NEWS

Phoenix police staffing issues persist for variety of reasons, union leader says

Jan 24, 2022, 1:14 PM
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Law Enforcement Association)...
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Law Enforcement Association)
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Law Enforcement Association)

PHOENIX – The head of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association said Monday that money isn’t the only reason the city is struggling with police staffing issues.

“I think the pay is a good starting point, but you really can’t buy morale,” Britt London, the Phoenix police union’s president, told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Monday. “That’s just going to take some time for us to get back to good.”

London said the Phoenix Police Department lost 274 officers last year and 20 this month, with nearly 10 more scheduled to depart in February.

“It really harms an organization when you have all these senior people leaving,” he said.

An OH Predictive Insights poll commissioned by PLEA and released Monday found that 76% of Phoenix voters support increased police funding.

London said higher pay would help with recruiting and retention, but that’s not the only reason officers are dissatisfied.

“We have people that come into our office and they’ll tell us everything that you can imagine about what’s wrong, from supervision to pay to what the future looks like,” he said. “So it’s really hard to try to stay positive.”

However, he said that for most officers, “this job is a calling; it really is, and they want to see Phoenix get better.”

Last year, Phoenix Police reported that a rise in emergency calls combined with staffing shortages was leading to increased response times. A department spokesman told KTAR News on Monday that the agency now has about 1,000 available patrol officers.

“We could argue about what’s a safe level,” said London, who noted that the department serves more than 1.6 million residents in the city’s eight precincts.

London said “on a good day” the Maryvale precinct has 24 officers for a shift, but a recent weekend day shift briefing had only three people for a squad area.

“That is not only unsafe for us, but it’s a disservice to the folks that live in the Maryvale precinct,” he said.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Taylor Kinnerup contributed to this report.

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

(Photo by: Lindsey Nicholson/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)...
Danny Shapiro

Phoenix gas average eclipses $5 a gallon with more increases likely this summer, expert says

Phoenix has eclipsed an average of $5 for a gallon of gasoline and prices are likely to continue rising for a while, an industry expert said Wednesday.
12 hours ago
(Pixabay Stock Photo)...
KTAR.com

Bicycle rider dies after getting hit by car on Phoenix street

A man who was riding a bicycle died after getting struck by a car Tuesday night on 51st Avenue near Camelback Road in Phoenix, authorities said.
12 hours ago
U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Arizona) meets with a Border Patrol official in Douglas, Arizona, in April ...
Kevin Stone

Here’s what Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona wants to see before Title 42 is lifted

U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona said there will be chaos at the southern border if Title 42 ends before the government is prepared to address the surge of migrants expected to follow.
12 hours ago
(Phoenix Fire Department Photo)...
KTAR.com

More than 150 firefighters beat back flames at Phoenix pallet yard

More than 150 firefighters spent hours putting out a large fire at a pallet yard late Tuesday, first responders said.
12 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Danny Shapiro

Chandler is No. 1 nationally for increase in 2-bedroom rent, according to report

Chandler is tops nationally for increase in two-bedroom rent, according to a report released Friday.
12 hours ago
(Twitter Photo/Mesa Police Department)...
KTAR.com

Mesa police launches portal for filing complaints, commendations

The Mesa Police Department has unveiled a new online portal that will simplify the complaint and commendation process.
12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Christina O’Haver

Stroke month: Experts call attention to stroke prevention

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
...
Arizona Division of Problem Gambling

Arizona Division of Problem Gambling provides exclusion solution for young sports bettors

Sports betting in Arizona opened a new world to young adults, one where putting down money on games was as easy as sending a text message.
...
DAY & NIGHT AIR CONDITIONING, HEATING AND PLUMBING

In Sonoran heat, prevent costly AC repairs with an annual tune-up

As winter has finally passed and the days are becoming warmer, now is a good time to be sure your AC unit is polished and ready to run.
Phoenix police staffing issues persist for variety of reasons, union leader says