PHOENIX — Phoenix city leaders are giving the police department some needed relief after approving a plan to hire dozens of civilian employees.
City council members voted Wednesday to allow police to hire 25 civilian investigators and 8 police assistants.
The decision to use more civilians comes as the department deals with a staffing shortage.
According to Chief Jeri Williams, the department is down by 400 officers.
That leaves about 1 officer for every 600 people, according to data obtained by ABC15.
"As most of you know, our department is experiencing a staffing shortage," said Williams in a recorded announcement last week.
Williams previously announced plans to move about 100 sworn officers from their current positions back to patrol.
She also mentioned bringing more civilians on board and using officers to go to the more serious call-outs.
"We've tried a variety of things to make sure we maintain the level of service you deserve," she added.
The new civilian employees will assist the violent crimes, family investigations, property crimes and drug enforcement bureaus.
Additionally, the police assistants will help with traffic control, traffic collisions and misdemeanors.
City documents show the department already has the funding in their budget.