Garcia to city: Give me a 2-year contract

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia is requesting a two-year contract with the city of Phoenix that expires on Dec. 31, 2016.

The contract would not include a pay hike, he said.

"It's time to silence the critics," Garcia said at a Thursday news briefing. "It's time to silence the police unions."

"We need to stop the union attacks to terminate services of the police chief based on rhetoric and political posturing," Garcia said.

He said the mission of the unions should be the "well-being of the organization, not the destruction of it."

Earlier this month, the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association and the Phoenix Police Sergeants and Lieutenants Association called for a vote of no confidence in the chief.

The unions made the announcement at a joint news conference, citing "the alarming state of morale" in the department.

"This vote of no confidence has been an absolute failure," Garcia said. "(It's) a failed attempt to disrupt the management of this organization and the union actions have hurt the department's public image in the community."

"They have damaged the reputation of our officers in this organization and let me be clear that a vote of no confidence is not the measure to true police work and value and leadership. It's merely a tactic, in the case, to terminate the chief," Garcia said.

Garcia said the two-year contract he is requesting is to have a chief "to protect the rights of the citizens and to have high policing standards and accountability that will give you public trust."

Garcia started out the news conference by calling 2014 "an incredible year."

He noted there has been a seven percent reduction of crime in the city, the biggest cut during his tenure.

He added homicides are down 11.6 percent and violent crimes are down 4.9 percent.

Garcia was sworn in as chief on May 14, 2012. During the new conference he said officer safety was his top priority. "Unconditional police service" was his motto, Garcia said.

Last month, the city of Phoenix tackled the problem of PTSD with its police officers after CBS 5 News was rebuffed by the police chief who wouldn't address the issue.

The issue reached a tragic climax when a former Phoenix police officer who suffered from PTSD committed suicide.

Craig Tiger's death has sparked a debate about whether police departments do enough to care for officers after critical on-duty incidents.

Prior to joining the Phoenix police ranks, he served 34 years with the Dallas Police Department.