Phoenix Law Enforcement Association

Who’s on First?

In a July 4, 2010, editioral by Arizona Republic columnist E.J. Montini, Phoenix Police Department spokesman Sgt. Tommy Thompson spoke out about “distortions” of the truth with regard to illegal immigration’s impact on Arizona particularly with regard to Arizona being number 2 in the world behind Mexico with regard to kidnapping statistics.  At one point in the article Sgt. Thompson is quoted as saying, “I ‘ve got to tell you, we sometimes wonder where people come up with this stuff.”

All Sgt. Thompson needs to do is look no further than his own upper level police management to figure out where some of “this stuff” comes from.  A Feb. 11, 2009, ABC news article states:


“In what officials caution is now a dangerous and even deadly crime wave, Phoenix Arizona has become the kidnapping capital of America, with more incidents than any other city in the world outside of Mexico City and over 370 cases last year alone.”

The article goes on to quote Assistant Phoenix Police Chief Andy Anderson as saying “We’re in the eye of the storm” with regard to the violent crimes and and ruthless tactics spurred by Mexico’s drug cartels.  In yet another news article published by Valley news outlet KTAR on August 19, 2009, Phoenix Police Chief Jack Harris commented on a recent kidnapping and stated that it was one reason why Phoenix had been dubbed the “kidnapping capital of America.”  Harris went on to say that the title was “not unfair” and that “it’s really accurate” but that clarification needed to be made with regard to who the crime victims were.

When police managers and departement spokespersons make statements for the sake of political expediency, they seem to lose track of or conveniently forget what has been said in the past.  Engaging in antics such as this makes mangement look as inept as Abbot and Costello in the famous comedy routine “Who’s on First?”

CLICK HERE to read Ed Montini’s July 4, 2010 column.

CLICK HERE to read the ABC news story “Kidnapping Capital of the USA” published February 11, 2009.

CLICK HERE to read the August 19, 2009, news story from KTAR with comment from Chief Harris.

CLICK HERE to read PLEA President Mark Spencer’s email response to Ed Montini.