Interim Phoenix police chief unveils 4-part plan to improve department
PHOENIX — Interim Phoenix Police Chief Michael Sullivan announced last week a four-pronged plan to reduce and prevent crime in the city.
The new approach works to provide training and skills to officers that will aid in safely defusing incidents, according to a city of Phoenix press release.
After months meeting with officers and community members, Sullivan launched the four-part plan, which includes reinforced training, de-escalation and scenario-based training, a review into the use of force policy and the expansion of the department’s less lethal tools training program.
“This plan revolves around the concept that preservation of life is at the core of policing,” Sullivan said in the release.
“Becoming a self-correcting organization fosters continuous improvement which allows us to refocus on that core ideal which is more important now than ever.”
The first part covers reinforced training, an area in which Sullivan has since directed a series of mandatory patrol briefings be overseen on the principals of making time, distance and cover in crucial situations in an effort to make time to develop a secure plan.
“The decisions and actions of law enforcement officers are critically important and can change the course of lives in a matter of seconds,” Sullivan said. “That responsibility forces us to constantly look at ways to get better and do better.”
There will also be the implementation of the ICAT (Integrating Communications, Assessment and Tactics), a scenario-based training for when officers encounter potentially dangerous individuals who are unarmed.
Further, there will be a deep dive into the department’s use of force policy as Sullivan hopes to ensure Phoenix police exceed the standard in law enforcement policies.
The last part of the plan will work to expand the less lethal program. The expansion, which is already underway, will see 12 officers each week for five weeks being trained on less lethal tools, including the PepperBall that works to deter threats while preserving life.
Phoenix Police hope to equip an additional 400 officers with less lethal weapons by the end of 2023, specifically with 200 PepperBall devices and 200 40mm impact launchers.
“I am optimistic for the future of Phoenix Police and look forward to continued work with Chief (Sullivan) to make Phoenix an even safer city,” Mayor Kate Gallego said in the release.