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.

Want more stories focused on Arizona politics? Watch our Sunday Square Off YouTube Playlist here.

Next Post

More applications come in for business and law schools

Typically, graduate school admissions are countercyclical, meaning that when the economy is down, enrollment is up. Despite the unique nature of 2020’s economic downturn, it appears that this year is no exception. Applications are up in professional programs such as business and law, but also, anecdotally speaking, in some humanities […]