PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Phoenix police have released a report made by the National Police Foundation on the record number of officer-involved shootings in 2018.
According to the report, the Phoenix Police Department was involved in 44 'critical incidents' in 2018 that resulted in an officer firing their weapon.
“We have to do better," said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego at a press conference on Friday.
In an executive summary of the report, Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams said this number was not typical for the department as compared to previous years.
"We're not afraid of the truth," Chief Williams said. "The truth is what the truth is."
The study was conducted by the National Police Foundation (NPF) after gaining approval by the Phoenix City Council last year.
The NPF is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan group that began in 1970 with the purpose of helping police departments become more effective.
NPF's report stated that there was an increase in officers encountering people who were armed with firearms or simulated weapons, as well as an increase in assaults on officers, specifically assaults on officers involving a firearm.
The report laid out nine recommendations for the Phoenix Police Department to reduce the number of officer-involved shootings:
1. Document when officers point their guns at a person/s
2. Improve consistency in data collection for periodic analysis of officer involved shootings
3. Continue to improve training
4. Increase transparency through the sharing of data and information with the community
5. As transparency and accountability are increased, meaningful community engagement must be undertaken beyond Phoenix Police Department-selected advisory group and participation
6. Increase presence of proactive policing units
7. Conduct a staffing study to determine if Phoenix Police has sufficient officers to respond to calls for service demands and provide adequate back-up for responding officers
8. Continue improvements to the current Records Management System
9. Progress understanding of mental health issues, crisis response and treatment needs in the community
In Friday morning's press conference, Chief Williams said that 44 officer-involved shootings is not representative of the Phoenix Police Department.
"Forty-four does not represent who we are as the Phoenix Police Department," Williams said. "We are responsible, we are accountable, we're transparent and we're self-reflective and we constantly seek to learn, grow and improve and I think the study has shown us this."
Read Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams executive summary of the report here.
Read the full report by the National Police Foundation here.