Yesterday’s news headlines showed that Phoenix is now the 5th largest city in the country, surpassing Philadelphia in population for the first time since 2010. Historically, Phoenix and Philly have traded positions over the years and as is the norm, City leaders love to tout the accomplishment.
An Arizona Republic article stated that according to Mayor Greg Stanton and Phoenix Community and Economic Development Director Christine Mackay, the quality of Phoenix is more important than the number of people who live here. Quality of life considerations usually include public safety and we are all aware of the state of the Phoenix Police Department in the wake of a six-year hiring freeze.
US Census reports say Phoenix is growing, adding over 32,000 people last year, which is an average of 88 people per day moving into the city between July 1, 2015 and July 1, 2016. These numbers helped Phoenix achieve another title; Fastest-growing city in the country.
Having made two notable achievements, how much more will it take to convince the City Council that they need to find funding to bring our police department staffing to a level of 2.5 officers per 1000 citizens? Philadelphia has just over 1.5 million people and the Philadelphia Police Department has 6100 sworn officers with a jurisdiction over 140 square miles of real estate. Comparatively speaking, Phoenix has just over 1.6 million people and the Phoenix Police Department, with just under 2800 sworn officers as of early May, is responsible for 530 square miles of real estate.
The bottom line is that in order to provide an environment where people will want to move to raise families and open businesses, which all contribute to the economic engine that drives the success of any city, citizens need to feel safe. The leaders of what is now the 5th largest city in the country need to take a hard look on how they are going to provide those citizens with the police department they deserve.
CLICK HERE for an Channel 12 News report on Phoenix’s accomplishment.
CLICK HERE for a Fox News report on Phoenix’s accomplishment.
CLICK HERE for the text of the Arizona Republic article on Phoenix’s accomplishment which includes population figures for the top 10 cities in the United States.