New Phoenix police union contract to have greater accountability

Bizar Male

City Council is scheduled to vote Wednesday on contract after public comment.

PHOENIX — Editor’s note: The above video is from an earlier broadcast that detailed the use of an offensive coin used by Phoenix police officers commemorating the police shooting of a man in the groin.

A proposed new contract for Phoenix’s largest police union touts steps toward greater transparency and accountability, as the police department deals with a scandal over unfounded charges against protesters.

The tentative contract for members of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association is scheduled for public comment and a vote at the City Council meeting at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.

In the past, debate over the police contract has produced some of the most acrimonious council meetings.

The contract could face a bumpy ride again this year. 

Wednesday’s meeting comes amid a scandal engulfing the Police Department and Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, over the filing of ginned-up charges against Black Lives Matter protesters. More than two-dozen cases have been dismissed.

Meantime, a long-sought civilian review board for police misconduct – viewed by many community advocates as essential to greater transparency – has stalled, despite a council vote to fund it

The proposed contract for police would:

  • Allow the police chief to take immediate action to fire an officer involved in a felony crime that occurred on the job. Currently, the chief must wait five days to take action.
  • Provide for non-police investigators of alleged police misconduct, if a civilian review board is created.
  • Expand discipline histories in officers’ personnel files, to help spot recurring problems.
  • Ban the use of vacation time for police suspensions.

In exchange for agreeing to the transparency and accountability proposals, officers would receive an ongoing 0.5% bump in compensation, along with a one-time 0.5% increase. 

The Phoenix Police Department has about 3,000 sworn officers.



The Phoenix City Council failed Wednesday to adopt an ordinance that would have started the process to hire staff for a civilian oversight office created to review police shootings and excessive-force claims. The vote came as a surprise to some because the City Council in February voted in favor of creating the office and in June it approved a $1.3 billion budget that included $3 million for the Office of Accountability and Transparency.

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