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City of Phoenix receives $3.1 million federal grant to hire more police officers

9/22/2015

PHOENIX – The city of Phoenix has been awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice for $3.1 million to hire 25 officers for the police department. The COPS Hiring Program is a three year grant that will specifically focus on the police department’s efforts to strengthen the relationship between the community and officers. 

“Our efforts to enhance and improve police community relations in Phoenix will take a big step forward with the addition of these 25 new officers,” said Mayor Greg Stanton. “Now, Phoenix is in a position to hire nearly 300 new officers by the end of this fiscal year. I am thankful that the Department of Justice chose Phoenix as one of three cities to receive the maximum award.”

“There is no greater responsibility for local government than protecting its residents,” said Phoenix Vice Mayor Daniel Valenzuela regarding the COPS grant. “As my number one priority, each year since taking office I have traveled to D.C. with colleagues and city staff to advocate on behalf of the people of Phoenix for our fair share of federal funding to strengthen public safety. Our efforts continue to pay off – this latest $3.125 million award is the second COPS grant awarded to the city of Phoenix in three years. It will allow us to add to the more than 400 police officers we are on track to hire by 2017.”

 The Phoenix City Council has made police officer hiring a top priority. The police department is currently in a recruitment process to hire more officers, and this new grant funding accelerates that hiring to put more officers on duty sooner. In addition, the recent passage of Proposition 104 in August allows for an additional 125 to be hired this fiscal year. The new COPS grant will bring the total for this current fiscal year to 295 new officers on the streets of Phoenix by July 1, 2016. 

“This is great news for the city of Phoenix and brings us even closer to our goal of achieving the staffing levels we need in our police force,” said Phoenix Councilmember Michael Nowakowski, chairman of the Phoenix Public Safety and Veterans Subcommittee. “With this grant, residents across the city will see a greater presence of police officers to fight crime and keep our neighborhoods safe.”

The Phoenix Police officers hired under the COPS grant will be assigned to the department’s Community Relations Bureau, allowing the department to now expand that bureau with more resources. Specific areas of focus include community response squads, the bias crimes unit, police advisory boards, and programs focused on teaching young people about careers in law enforcement. 

“We are always looking for ways to improve our service and to build a safer Phoenix for our future. The Building Trust Grant announced by the Community Oriented Policing office is an example of how the Phoenix Police Department understands the power of strong relationships with the community,” said Phoenix Police Chief Joseph Yahner. “Strong relationships with each other allow us to more effectively serve our community.”  

When applying for the COPS federal funding, Phoenix Police requested and received 25 officers. This is the second COPS grant awarded to Phoenix in the past two years.  

“Every officer patrolling our streets has the opportunity to significantly contribute to the well-being of our community,” Vice Mayor Valenzuela said. “With news that we have won another federal COPS grant to hire even more officers, we are making great strides to strengthen a police force significantly reduced as a result of the recession. With hiring new officers, we also have the opportunity and responsibility to bolster the department’s efforts to ensure our police force is a reflection of the diverse populations we serve. This grant is the latest testament to our shared commitment to place public safety at the top of our city’s priorities.”

For hiring information, including details on how long the process takes, minimum qualifications, and the physical and written tests that are involved, visit www.phoenix.gov/police/joinphxpd, call (602) 534-COPS (2677), or email recruiting.ppd@phoenix.gov.