Peoria residents are raising concerns about police response times in their area. The city commissioned a study, and findings will be revealed Tuesday night.
"They just don’t have enough manpower," said Joe Clure, a former Phoenix police officer. He is also a past president of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association. Clure founded Citizens for Peoria after moving there in his retirement.
"I spoke to some of the police officers out there and they told me there were quite high response times," Clure said. "I also made a public records request."
Upon receiving the request, he said he found response times in one area in far North Peoria approaching 15 minutes.
"That's just not acceptable," Clure said.
In 2007, the population in Peoria was 153,592, with 189 sworn police officers. In 2018, the population is 171,000, and the number of officers is 199, according to a city spokesperson. We calculated that in 2007, Peoria's number of officers per thousand residents was 1.23. In 2018, it's gone down to about 1.16.
Peoria just paid Matrix Consulting Group $70,000 for a 10-year study.
"We decided to consult with Matrix to help evaluate our operations in light of the rapid growth that Peoria is experiencing," said Jennifer Stein with the city of Peoria. She said it's common for cities to do these studies every 10 years, and it'll look at everything from beat structures to scheduling and staffing.
"It's really important to analyze all that data initially before you begin to implement strategies," Stein said.
"We went and spent several tens of thousands of dollars of taxpayer funds to try to decide if we need more police officers or not, when I think that’s really pretty evident," Clure said.
Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.