PHOENIX — Phoenix Police Department announced Thursday that it will be relocating 108 officers and 15 sergeants from their specialty positions to patrol duty.
By having more officers out on the streets, the police department hopes to shorten response times.
The reallocation comes after facing staffing shortages for the past year and not seeing significant results following recruiting efforts. In a statement on camera, Police Chief Jerri Williams said the Phoenix Police Department has the budget for 3,125 sworn positions, but falls at least 400 people below that number. She says public safety is potentially at risk at these current levels.
"The department's primary mission is to answer your calls for service when you need us," Williams said.
The Phoenix City Council approved various incentives and additional, civilianized positions that don't require swearing into the police force.
Efforts have been made in and out of state, including a $7,500 hiring bonus for new recruits and a $2,500 employee referral bonus. To maintain current staff, the city council also approved raises and $7,500 for officers who commit to staying at the department for the next two years.
"Despite all those efforts, the situation has gotten to a point where a reallocation of resources is necessary," said Police Chief Jerri Williams. "This plan was not entered into lightly. We know it has an impact on the lives of our officers and their families, and you, our community."
According to a staffing report, precincts will be 108 patrol officers short even after the allocation starting in March and April.
The Phoenix Police Department has created a Frequently Asked Questions page about the reallocation.