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Uncertainty grows as Phoenix Police’s staffing changes looms

The Phoenix Police Department is suffering a big crisis.

After years of being on a hiring free, the department is now about 400 police officers short. With this big understaffing problem, Phoenix residents are waiting longer for help, when they call 911.

 “It was taking us well over seven minutes to get to priority one, which is our persons against persons calls,” said Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams. 

“Never easy,” said Williams. “I probably have bags under my eyes right now, I’ll be honest, because of the people I know I’m impacting.”

Some officers and residents are worried about the unintended consequences of those changes. Some argue the impact could be negative, possibly resulting on the baddest of the bad guys getting away, and cases taking longer to get solved.

“We realize that the waves have been pulling out, and the tsunami is coming, and February 20 is when we’re worried that’s going to happen,” said Phoenix Police detective Josh Champion.

The re-assignments will take effect on February 20. Champion is not being re-assigned, but he still dreads the outcome.

“Unfortunately, due to the decrease in detectives and the amount of cases we already handle and the amount of cases were going to pick up from losing detectives, sometimes these cases might not be handled in a very rapid manner,” said Champion.

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