Attorney General: Phoenix Police A Model For Training

By Jude Joffe-Block
Published: Tuesday, June 28, 2016 - 5:41pm
(Photo courtesy of US Department of Justice)
Loretta E. Lynch is the 83rd Attorney General of the United States.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch was in Phoenix Tuesday to recognize the Phoenix Police Department as a model agency for officer training. Lynch visited the Arizona Law Enforcement Academy in South Phoenix and observed a training in de-escalation strategies.

Lynch told reporters afterward she is highlighting policing best practices around the country to help other agencies learn by example. She said Phoenix’s de-escalation training “really takes a situation and talks officers through a way to find the myriad ways you can resolve a situation before resulting in the ultimate use of force.”

Lynch said the U.S. Department of Justice is providing assistance to local police departments interested in improving their policies and trainings. She said if other police departments around the country want to work on their de-escalation training procedures, the U.S. Department of Justice would refer them to consult with the Phoenix Police Department.

“We are trying to reach out and be proactive in a number of different ways, and we will be using the Phoenix department as an example and hoping to match them with other departments,” Lynch said.

She also praised the Phoenix Police Department for its efforts toward community policing.

“They have reached out to the community and sought input, which we have found to be a very important component of building a trusting relationship,” Lynch said.

The Phoenix Police Department was one of six agencies around the country included on Lynch’s Community Policing tour. From here, she will make her final stop at the Los Angeles Police Department.

During the press conference in Phoenix, Lynch did not comment on another local agency, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

Lynch was asked by reporters if she had a message for members of the local community who have called on her agency to pursue criminal charges against Sheriff Joe Arpaio for violating federal court orders in a longstanding racial profiling case.

Lynch said it was an ongoing matter so she could not comment on where it is headed.