New survey shows many Phoenix police officers would consider leaving if DOJ takes over

Jul 3, 2024, 11:21 AM

DOJ consent decree could hurt retention of Phoenix Police officers...

A new survey from the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association suggests DOJ oversight would hurt officer retention rates. (City of Phoenix file photo)

(City of Phoenix file photo)

PHOENIX — Federal oversight could tank officer retention in the Phoenix Police Department, according to a survey released Wednesday.

The Phoenix Law Enforcement Association’s survey of 1,186 Phoenix Police officers found that 56% were considering leaving in the next three to six months.

However, respondents changed their minds when asked if they’d still leave if Phoenix PD and city officials resisted a consent decree with the Department of Justice.

In fact, almost 90% of respondents said they’d stay if authorities refused to enter into any type of federal agreement with the DOJ, which released a report of civil rights violations in June.

What did the DOJ’s investigation into the Phoenix Police find?

The report found Phoenix Police regularly used excessive force, targeted people of color, violated protestors’ rights and discriminated against people with behavioral health disabilities.

Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Kristen Clarke said the police department and city also violated the Constitution’s first, fourth and 14th amendments.

Additionally, this was the first time the DOJ found a pattern against people experiencing homelessness — and the second time when Native Americans were targeted, Clarke said.

PLEA President Darrell Kriplean said the DOJ’s report was already having a negative impact on officer retention.

He said the DOJ has a 30-year track record of failure during during a Wednesday interview with KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show.

Essentially, he thinks the DOJ is incapable of holding Phoenix Police accountable for rights violations.

“We should be beholden to our community members and our city council folks that the community elects to oversee our department,” Kriplean said.

He said the Phoenix PD is a self-assessing and self-correcting agency.

How would a DOJ consent decree impact Phoenix Police Department?

Police have long expressed their discontent with the idea of a consent decree with the DOJ.

In January, the Phoenix PD released a 53-page report detailing its commitment to reform.

That report came with a a four-page letter accusing the DOJ of using an ineffective one-size-fits-all approach to police reform.

“Our officers are smart. They see what happens in other communities with the DOJ,” Kriplean said. “This is a depolicing maneuver, essentially, because officers are afraid that they won’t be able to do their jobs and serve the community.”

DOJ oversight comes with a fear of prosecution as well as burdensome paperwork, he added.

Kriplean also critiques the DOJ’s claims that its oversight is effective due to drops in use of force incidences in cities it oversees. He said the data was misleading. The cities aren’t safer; it’s just that police officers have disengaged, he said.

“They’re not out there arresting people because, at any given moment, if someone complains at the handcuffs were too tight, they’re now being pulled into an internal affairs investigation,” Kriplean said. “That’s why violent crime spikes.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

A graphic shows a winning entry from the 2023 ADOT Safety Message Contest: "Seatbelts always pass t...

Kevin Stone

ADOT’s popular Safety Message Contest is underway for 2024

ADOT is once again asking citizens to put their word skills on display as part of the agency’s annual Safety Message Contest.

54 minutes ago

Mugshot of Martin Alberto Perez Gonzalez, who was arrested in connection with a fatal Phoenix hotel...

Suspect in deadly Phoenix hotel shooting claims self defense after getting arrested

The suspect in a fatal Phoenix hotel shooting earlier this month claimed self defense after his arrest Monday, authorities said.

2 hours ago

police arrest homicide suspect on Monday...

Man suspected of killing woman in downtown Phoenix hotel room in early July arrested

Police arrested a homicide suspect on Monday after a two-week-long manhunt, the Phoenix Police Department said.

3 hours ago

An election worker sorts through early mail ballots in Arizona. Election Day for the Arizona primar...

Kevin Stone

Arizona primary voters running out of time to return early ballots by mail

With one week left until the Arizona primary, voters should get their early ballots in the mail as soon as possible to ensure they are counted.

4 hours ago

2024 Mini Master Model Builder Competition: Arizona boy ranks 3rd...

Serena O'Sullivan

Phoenix boy gets third place in North American Lego contest

An 8-year-old boy from Phoenix named Tobias Camen won third place in the 2024 Mini Master Model Builder Competition.

6 hours ago

Robert Yates of Tolleson is the subject of a Silver Alert issued July 18, 2024....

Silver Alert canceled after 67-year-old West Valley man found safe

Authorities canceled a Silver Alert on Monday after a 67-year-old West Valley man who'd been missing since last week was located.

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.



Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

New survey shows many Phoenix police officers would consider leaving if DOJ takes over