ARIZONA NEWS

Here’s how metro Phoenix’s newest police department is keeping up with a population boom

Apr 13, 2023, 4:35 AM

(Facebook Photo/Queen Creek Police Department)...

(Facebook Photo/Queen Creek Police Department)

(Facebook Photo/Queen Creek Police Department)

PHOENIX — Queen Creek’s police department is just over a year old, but its chief said expansion plans have rapidly evolved to keep up with the growing population.

Randy Brice told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Wednesday that he plans to double the Queen Creek Police Department’s sworn officers in the next five years.

The department started with 64 officers in January 2022.

“We have put together a very aggressive plan, not only from staffing perspective, but from an infrastructure perspective,” Brice said.

“We have a great plan in place that’s going to take us through the next 10 to 20 years, but really aggressively over the next five.”

The latest U.S. Census numbers saw the Pinal County town grow from 59,590 people in April 2020 to 66,346 people in July 2021.

Although those estimates came before the department’s creation, Brice can point to the $5.5 billion LG Energy Solution battery factory coming to town as evidence Queen Creek is growing.

“There’s just a lot of great things happening here, so the police department needs to be ready and expand just as fast to meet those needs,” Brice said.

Brice expects the biggest challenge will be recruiting officers to a department that hasn’t had time to establish a reputation yet.

The police chief has attempted to build a community-friendly department and believes it is working, saying calls for service have increased by 40% in the past year.

“There’s some unique challenges, but where we have been very successful is that from the beginning, we started with that mantra of really focusing on community connection,” Brice said.

“We hear that a lot across the nation, but we’re really embedding that into the absolute culture of the organization.”

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Here’s how metro Phoenix’s newest police department is keeping up with a population boom