Phoenix Police Alter Requirements For Lateral Hires

By Jimmy Jenkins
Published: Thursday, February 9, 2017 - 4:27pm
Updated: Friday, February 10, 2017 - 11:17am
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Phoenix police are currently short of their employment goal by more than 400 sworn officers. Hiring laterally, or from another police department, is a way to get cops on the streets quicker and with less time spent in training.

While lateral hires still have to go through mandatory training specific to the department, they don’t have to repeat their police academy training, which takes 20 weeks.

Lt. Anthony Lopez with the employment-services bureau at Phoenix Police Department says that previously, the department only accepted lateral hires with more than a year of experience on the force.

“What we realized is that most other police agencies in the Valley did not have a minimum one-year-requirement standard," Lopez said. "So we felt that we were not on a level playing field.”

He says eliminating the requirement will make it more competitive and give the department a chance to review more resumes.

Lopez says the department is still recovering from a six-year hiring freeze that was lifted in 2015. The department hopes to hire at least 300 officers each year in the foreseeable future.