ARIZONA NEWS

Phoenix Police focusing on recruiting women as department remains steadfast in hiring efforts

Oct 16, 2023, 11:00 AM

Both photos show officers working together...

The Phoenix Police Department is continuing to explore new ways to recruit and retain employees, even after offering pay increases and sign-on bonuses. (X Photo/@joinphxpd)

(X Photo/@joinphxpd)

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Police Department is continuing to explore new ways to recruit and retain employees, even after offering pay increases and sign-on bonuses.

Part of the push to recruit comes from the department’s 30×30 program, where 30% of the police force will be made up by women by 2030, Sgt. Brian Bower of the department told KTAR News 92.3 FM last week.

“We’re reaching out to different athletic departments at community colleges, high schools, and we’re trying to recruit some of the best quality women that we can so that we can have, again, 30% of the workforce be females by 2030,” Bower said.

In addition to recruiting in the field, the department is using digital flyers and messages on social media to promote hiring.

“The other big push that we’ve been able to do is a huge social media campaign so that we can let people know that this is an option, that a career in the police department — I like to tell people — it’s not a job, sometimes you can’t even classify it as a career, it’s a lifestyle,” Bower said.

“So the more people that we can get in the door, have them understand the possibilities, the benefits, the more people that look at it and say, ‘Yes, this is exactly what I’ve been waiting for, this is exactly what I want.'”

There are also careers in administrative work or as police assistants, Bower said. Over time, if employees in those fields want to switch into more hands-on roles, they can do so.

What else has been done to hire police officers?

The most important thing to get done was boost pay increases and offer sign-on bonuses, Bower said.

Last year, the Phoenix City Council approved pay raises for all officers in the police department by at least $20,000 a year. In one example, pay for recruits increased from $48,000 to $68,000, making it the highest-paid law enforcement agency in the state.

While there are growing incentives to join the police force, there are also options that allow youth to be immersed in the lifestyle, such as the Police Cadets.

The cadets get the opportunity to attend events hosted by the Phoenix Police Department to begin learning more about the job, Bower said.

“They’re out there in their own uniforms and they have that mentality and they’re starting to build that understanding of what it’s like to have a lifestyle in the law enforcement field, and it’s really great to see some of those young kids out here, young adults, that are volunteering their time to participate,” Bower said.

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

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Phoenix Police focusing on recruiting women as department remains steadfast in hiring efforts