PHOENIX -- Change could be on the horizon for the Phoenix Police Department, including re-drawing precinct boundaries or even combining some precincts.
But what may sound like a controversial move is more like a consolidation of resources.
“They'll tell you in budget hearings they aren't laying off any police but that's a gray statement,” said Dwight Amery, president of the Maryvale Revitalization Corporation. “They are not hiring and they are not laying off, but if 50 officers retire this year they will not be replaced.”
This is not new. In fact, the Phoenix Police Department is down roughly 500 officers since 2008. Amery has been active in discussions involving the citywide restructuring of Phoenix police patrol.
“You're down 500 officers; somebody is waiting longer for an officer to respond,” Amery said.
Phoenix police and city officials are meeting to discuss the department’s restructuring plan. The challenge is to juggle the resources they've got, keeping community response and officer safety top of mind.
“We will look at calls for service in an area, number of officers in a particular precinct and as crime levels move around we will redeploy officers to address those crime levels,” said Phoenix police Sgt. Steve Martos.
No jobs will be lost or gained but there will likely be fewer precincts and patrol squads, with more officers assigned to each.
“We look at officers retired and leaving, injured on the job, sick, on vacation, or training and how that impacts other officers on the street any given day,” Martos said. “Make no mistake, we will cover the same geographic area with the same number of officers but we hope by redeploying officers we will be better at it, if you will.”
The Police Department will be meeting with community members and city leaders before implementing any change.