Phoenix Law Enforcement Association warns of officer shortage

PHOENIX – The Phoenix Law Enforcement Association is warning of a major shortage of officers.

President Ken Crane believes the Phoenix Police Department is facing a full-on crisis.

“The center of our wheel is always a lack of manpower. That problem must be laid squarely at the feet of the Mayor, Council, and city manager,” said Ken Crane.

Crane blames a six-year hiring freeze for sending the force into a spiral. He said new hiring is not keeping up with the number of officers leaving. 

Detectives are swamped with more cases due to under-staffing and the prevalence of home video catching criminals in the act. 

According to Phoenix PD Spokesperson Sgt. Jonathan Howard, each detective in the property crimes unit is working about 39 cases a month.

“You’ve had to gut your detective details, and you can’t keep up with the city,” Crane explained. “That’s the real problem. 

Phoenix PD currently has 2,936 sworn officers. The city’s goal is to grow that to 3,125.

Crane compared Phoenix to Philadelphia, only Philadelphia has fewer people and is smaller in size. Still, its police force boasts 6,600 officers. 

ABC15 reached out to city spokesperson Julie Watters, who said there is no “crisis.”

Watters said the council has committed significant resources to growing the force.

Crane acknowledges the hiring in process, but said it is still not enough and people should be concerned. 

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