ARIZONA NEWS

Increasing assaults on Phoenix Police officers worrying chief

Mar 15, 2022, 4:35 AM | Updated: 7:02 am

PHOENIX — Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams expressed concern Monday after two more officers were injured in an ambush the day prior, continuing a troubling trend of assaults on law enforcement.

Seven Phoenix police officers have been shot this year, and 13 overall have been injured, Williams said.

“Truth be told, this is one of the things that keeps police chiefs up at night,” Williams told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad.

Williams said the department saw a 31% increase of assaults on officers from 2017-21.

“I will say it’s getting far more dangerous for the men and women who wear a blue uniform or any color uniform, not just in Phoenix but throughout the country as well,” Williams said.

She added some suspects who have assaulted officers had prior felonious bookings, including the man who injured nine officers in an ambush last month.

Williams said she has been talking with other metropolitan police chiefs about the issue.

“The community can’t stand for this,” she said. “At the end of the day, the men and women who wear the uniform are standing in the gap, making sure people are safe, making sure we have a secure community.

“These types of attacks on our people and our employees and our officers cannot continue, not here in Phoenix or anywhere in the United States.”

Despite the increased violence against officers, Williams said that has not deterred the department’s strive to serve the community.

“Danger is there is obviously in the back of their minds, but they still have the heart and passion to serve and they still want to go out and do right by our community,” she said.

Williams added more people have showed up in the past weekend to take a written test than have been seen in a long time, a positive sign for a department with dwindling officer numbers.

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Increasing assaults on Phoenix Police officers worrying chief