Phoenix Law Enforcement Association

Is 3,125 Officers Really Enough for Phoenix?

PLEA has been continuously sounding the alarm over critical manpower shortages since our press conference in December 2016.  Although the city is hiring more officers, many in the community don’t realize just how serious the staffing shortage is and just how big Phoenix really is.  As of July 7th, the Police Department’s filled position report indicated a staffing level of 2,792 sworn officers.  The City plans to get to its target goal of 3,125 sworn by the Summer of 2018.  This means between now and then, 333 new officers must be hired.  However, this does not begin to account for attrition.   Approximately 50 officers will retire between now and July of 2018.  In addition, there are literally hundreds of officers currently eligible to retire who could leave any time they choose.  If another 50 choose to retire in the next year on top of the 50 who have to retire, we are now looking at 433 that must be hired to reach the City’s target staffing level of 3,125.  This then begs the question; Can we really hire 433 in a year, and is 3,125 officers going to provide adequate police staffing for a city the size of Phoenix?  Based on our research, PLEA believes a city our size should staff at a ratio of 2.5 officers per 1000 citizens.  We currently staff at a ratio of 1.8:1000 and if we get to 3,125 will be at 1.9:1000. View the PSA video below and see what you think.