PLEA has gone out in the media for the last several months to highlight the issues on dangerously low staffing levels with regard to police manpower. This has included many media interviews, attendance at City Council and Public Safety Subcommittee meetings, attendance at City Budget Hearings and meetings with and written communications between city leaders to include Mayor Council and the City Manager. We are acutely aware that the City Manager has a finite amount of financial resources that can be used to solve problems. The issues and concerns center around the structure of the City budget and what monies can be used. Detractors of increased police hiring lament over the projected cost of hiring 1,000 police officers which has been estimated at $125 million dollars when related infrastructure such as training, equipment and additional vehicles are rolled in.
To say that 3,125 officers (260 fewer than we had in 2008) is enough to service a a city with Phoenix’ population and geographic footprint is flawed City math. The City would apparently have us believe there has been no significant growth in the past nine years.
It is important to note that that the City’s annual budget is $3.9 billion dollars. $125 million dollars equates to 3% of the total budget. Can we really not afford to hire more police officers?
PLEA remains steadfast that a city our size should be staffed at a level of 2.5 officers per 1000 citizens which, depending on population numbers used would be a police force of between 4000 and 4200.
Below is the communications chain between PLEA and the city with regard to this important issue.
CLICK HERE to read the letter sent by PLEA to the city council on March 20, 2017
CLICK HERE to read the response sent by City Manager Ed Zuercher.
CLICK HERE to read PLEA’s response to the City Manager.