Police union: Changes by new Phoenix police chief Daniel Garcia upsetting officers, impacting morale

Some recent changes by the new Phoenix police chief is upsetting officers and impacting morale.

Joe Clure, President of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, said the changes have offended some officers.

PLEA represents about 2,500 officers.

"Based upon what I've heard there's been a failure of the police chief to connect, to make a connection with the rank and file police officers," said Clure.

Clure said some officers feel insulted after Daniel Garcia told officers he wanted them to reaffirm their oath of office every January.

Normally, officers only take their oath once when they join the department.

"That oath of office – I'm committed to that today as much as I was that day," said Clure, who took his oath 29 years ago.

A police department spokespersons provided part of what Garcia wrote to officers which said:

"Reaffirming the oath will remind us of our solemn promises of duty, service, and commitment to the citizens of Phoenix.

I feel very strongly about our commitment to the duties we perform and believe that reaffirming our Oath of Office will strengthen our resolve to provide the best service possible."

But Clure said the problems are deeper than just the oath.

Earlier this year, Garcia banned a uniform for patrol officers saying it was too easy for others to impersonate.

Clure said Garcia is now working on approving tougher punishments for officers who get in trouble.

"He's been here six months. He's essentially told them that they don't dress professionally, they appear to be undisciplined, and now the inference is you need to reaffirm your oath because he says so," said Clure.

Clure said the officers he has spoken with want Garcia to focus on helping them do their job instead of nitpicking the small things.

"We opened up two new precincts. We now have several hundred fewer officers to try to man and staff those precincts and I think that creates some difficulty in terms of manpower issues," said Clure.

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