ARIZONA NEWS

Phoenix police $20K salary raises take effect, applications increase

Aug 9, 2022, 4:25 AM | Updated: 5:44 am

(Facebook photo / Phoenix Police Department)...

(Facebook photo / Phoenix Police Department)

(Facebook photo / Phoenix Police Department)

PHOENIX —  The starting annual salary for Phoenix Police Department recruits rose from $48,000 to over $68,661 Monday after the city council passed the pay increase proposal in June.

The department is the highest-paying law enforcement agency in Arizona.

Mayor Kate Gallego joined KTAR News’ Gaydos and Chad Monday and said the city is getting an increase in applicants with the pay raises, which Gallego said will help an understaffed department.

“We want to be the best department in the state and that means we have to pay our officers fairly,” Gallego said.

“We are really excited about the response we’ve been getting. People are telling us they want to join the city of Phoenix and we’re getting more and more people signing up to be recruits.”

She said the department has 509 authorized spots to fill and the test for applicants had 211 people sign up this week, the most in two years.

Retaining officers was another point of emphasis for Gallego, who said more roles specialization will alleviate individuals from getting outside their comfort zone.

“We’ve asked officers what are the parts of the job that they love and what are the parts of job they think might be better handled by other types of professionals,” Gallego said. “Unfortunately, we are seeing a rise in addiction in this community. And our officers have said, ‘We are not in the position to be counselors.’

“We’re investing in social workers and clinicians who can really respond to those calls and then our officers can focus on crime, particularly violent crime. … We’re trying to be more targeted about getting the right person on the each 911 call.”

When asked about whether teachers could be next to see pay increases, Gallego said the city does not run schools nor compensate teachers.

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Phoenix police $20K salary raises take effect, applications increase