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No plans to change recruiting tactics following Justice Department report

No plans to change recruiting tactics following Justice Department report

No plans to change recruiting tactics following Justice Department report

PHOENIX (AZ family) —The Phoenix Police Department and many other police departments across the Valley and the country have been dealing with a persistent shortage of officers.

How could the recent Department of Justice report on the Phoenix Police Department affect recruiting?

READ MORE: Review shows misstatements and mischaracterizations in Justice Department report on Phoenix Police Department

Over the weekend, the Arizona Family went to the Phoenix Regional Police Academy, where about 27 applicants are going through the initial process to become full-time officers. On Saturday, they got a taste of what it would be like to work on the streets through a physical agility test.

Asked whether or not there are concerns that the Justice Department report could affect recruiting, Commander William Jou said that at this point, some of the data is years old and much has changed since then.

“We’ve been through a pandemic. We’ve been through social issues nationwide,” he said. “And during that time, we saw a decline around 2020.”

However, Jou said interest has leveled off and the decline in new recruits has stopped. There are currently no plans to add additional hiring incentives or change the way recruiting is done.

“We’re going to continue on the same path,” Jou said. “We believe our processes are tried and tested. And we’re going to continue doing the work we’re doing, so we have no plans to change that.”

Even with a $7,500 hiring incentive, there are still about 520 vacant positions within the Phoenix Police Department, according to Jou.

“I would say dig deeper,” he said, in his message to those considering a career in law enforcement. “Think about that calling. Respond to that calling. And look for the reason why you’re doing it.”

Jou said he wanted to become an officer after his brother was robbed and the detective treated his family with respect.

Last month, the president of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association expressed concerns about recruitment. In an exclusive interview with Arizona’s Family, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said she had spoken to mayors who had gone through the same process. They told her that the officers who signed up and enrolled in the academy turned out to be the best officers, reform-minded and concerned about the results.

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