PHOENIX, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- A long-awaited study on officer-involved shootings in Phoenix is set to be released in February.

The Phoenix Police Department tells us that a preliminary analysis is anticipated this month, with a final report expected next month.

The city spent about $150,000 to commission the study, which launched in July. The study is being conducted by researchers with the National Police Foundation. 

“Each and every officer-involved shooting is investigated to the Nth degree,” says retired assistant police chief, Kevin Robinson.

The most recent officer-involved shooting happened on New Year's Eve following a bank robbery and freeway pursuit.

[RELATED: Witnesses describe scene at bank robbery that led to pursuit, shooting of suspect]

Robinson worked for the Phoenix Police Department for 36 years. He left in 2017, but during his tenure, he served as chairman for the department’s disciplinary review board which analyzed officer-involved shootings when it was determined an officer broke policy.

He says much is revealed during the criminal and administrative investigations of each police shooting.

“They took use-of-force very seriously,” says Robinson.

Robinson suggests researchers with the National Police Foundation may look at when most officer-involved shootings are happening and recommend some changes.

[View officer-involved shooting data HERE.]

“Maybe we need more supervision out on the streets during these hours, lieutenants and sergeants,” suggests Robinson. “You may not be able to stop the use-of-force but you may at least be able to have the authority there that sees it, understands it.”

Data already collected and made available online by the Phoenix Police Department shows many of the encounters happening on Wednesdays around 4 p.m.

It also shows most of the officers that fired were white. Robinson says the numbers do not show a racial divide.

“You’re going to have more white male police officers than anything else, that’s a large part of the population,” says Robinson. “That’s a whole other study. Looking at why blacks, Hispanics, women, and other minorities are not interested in becoming police officers.”

Robinson says the study recommendation might be, for example, for the department to hire more diverse individuals. However he says the department’s recruitment already focuses on finding potential officers in different types of communities.

Stats by Phoenix police also show most of the subjects involved in the officer-involved shootings were people of color.

The online data does not include stats on subjects’ documented mental health issues or criminal history.

It’s possible, Robinson says, that some recommendations from the study will not be solutions the police department can control, but at the very least, he says the study can only bolster community confidence.

“Law enforcement in this valley does a terrific job of policing itself,” says Robinson. “And not everyone is comfortable with that.”

The shooting Monday, Dec. 31 was the 77th time Valley police have fired at suspects. In at least 27 of those incidents, the suspect was shot and killed.

[MAP: Phoenix-area officer-involved shootings in 2018]

More than half of those shootings -- 44 -- involved the Phoenix Police Department.

 


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