Phoenix officers will lose jobs as force faces budget cuts

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PHOENIX – Phoenix police are preparing to cut 15% of its budget which is roughly $68 million.

“We believe we're going to have deep cuts in personnel,” explains Sgt. Trent Crump, with Phoenix police, explains.

Personnel is about 90% of the police budget. Sgt. Crump adds, “There's no doubt we are talking about losing sworn officers. The reality of the situation right now is we don't know the number.”

The concern is that the Phoenix Police Department is already operating with almost 400 vacant sworn officer positions and that number will grow with retirements and attrition later this year.

Last year the police department cut about 7%, which is $30 million of their budget. The Phoenix Law Enforcement Association worries there is a danger associated with these continued cuts. A spokesperson from the association says, “It increases the risk for the community and increases the risk for police officers on the street.”

Faced with a $240 million budget deficit, the city has asked all departments to cut 30% and police to cut 15%, which is an amount still too great for public safety advocates.

PLEA spokesperson Mark Spencer says, “I think you will see a negative impact on response times. I already have officers telling us there are priority 1 emergency calls holding 10 minutes.”

These cuts are far from a done deal. The proposal will be presented at the city council later this week then there will be a couple of weeks of public comment before anything is decided.