Maricopa County officer-involved shootings almost same as L.A. County in 2018

Posted at 12:05 PM, Aug 31, 2018
and last updated 2019-01-16 13:01:10-05

Los Angeles County, the most heavily populated county in the country, had only two more officer-involved shootings in 2018 than Maricopa County.

Throughout 2018, a total of 82 officer- and deputy-involved shootings have been reported in Maricopa County, according to data from the Maricopa County Attorney's Office's website.

RELATED: Officer-involved shootings in Phoenix metro: See when, where they occurred in 2018

Across that same time span, Los Angeles County experienced 84 officer- and deputy-involved shootings, according to data on the Los Angeles County District Attorney's website.

Earlier in 2018, Maricopa county's total incidents surpassed Los Angeles county's total.

Both counties' listings include any incident within the county that resulted in an authority firing their weapon at an individual.

RELATED: Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams: Assaults against officers up 45% this year

This year represents a dramatic change in Maricopa County as compared to last year's data. In all of 2017, 43 officer- and deputy-involved shootings were reported in Maricopa County, while Los Angeles County had 65.

Los Angeles County's population of 10.2 million residents more than doubles Maricopa County's 4.3 million residents, according to 2017 data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The on-duty officer counts for each county were not immediately available.

The map below shows every media-reported officer- and deputy-involved shooting in the Valley in 2018.

Out of Maricopa County's 82 officer- and deputy-involved shootings, more than half of those incidents, 44, involved Phoenix Police, the largest city in the county. 

In a memo to the community by Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams, she said the officer-involved shootings don't follow a trend based on location, intersection or neighborhood and have happened throughout the city.

Williams said there has been a 45 percent increase in the number of assaults against Phoenix officers, with one out of ten of those assaults involving a firearm.

"While I cannot account for the reasons why some members of our community take active aggression against officers, I can encourage and create opportunities for additional training. The safety of our community and officers is the foundation of this Department," Chief Williams said. 

The City of Phoenix has hired an outside firm to look at the department and all officer-involved shootings to see if they can come up with some insight into why it keeps happening. 

Note: Each agency's website updates its officer-involved shooting list periodically. Incidents from months prior can be retroactively added to the running list once the agency is made aware of them, according to officials.