Phoenix Police Department

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Phoenix Police Department
AZ - Phoenix Police.png
AZ - Phoenix Police Badge.png
MottoTo Ensure the Safety and Security for Each Person in our Community
Agency overview
Preceding agency
  • Phoenix City Marshals
Employees3,986 (2012)[1]
Annual budget$721 m (2020)[2]
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdictionPhoenix, Arizona, US
Maricopa County Incorporated and Planning areas Phoenix highlighted.svg
Map of Phoenix Police Department's jurisdiction.
Size516 sq mi (1,340 km2).
Population1.6 million[3]
Legal jurisdictionCity of Phoenix
General nature
Officers3,125 (2020)[2]
Elected officer responsible
Agency executives
  • Jeri Williams, Chief of Police
  • Michael Kurtenbach, Executive Assistant Chief
  • James Burgett, Assistant Chief
  • Sandra Renteria, Assistant Chief
  • Mary Roberts, Assistant Chief
  • John Collins, Assistant Chief
Abandoned grave-site of William "Haze" Hazelton Burch (1884-1925)

The Phoenix Police Department is the law enforcement agency responsible for the city of Phoenix, Arizona. Currently, the Phoenix Police Department comprises more than 2,900 officers and more than 1,000 support personnel. The department serves a population of more than 1.6 million[3] and patrol almost 516 square miles (1,340 km2)[3] of the fifth largest city in the United States.


Phoenix was incorporated as a city on February 5, 1881. Law enforcement was handled by Phoenix city marshals and later by Phoenix police officers. Henry Garfias, the first city marshal, was elected by residents in 1881 in the first elections of the newly incorporated city. For six years, he served as the primary law enforcement officer.

In the early 1900s, the Phoenix Police Department used Old Nelly, the horse, to pull the patrol wagon for officers. Most patrolling, however, was done on foot. The city at this time was only 3.1 square miles (8.0 km2) with a population of 11,134 people. Call boxes were used to notify an officer that headquarters wanted him. These were supplemented by a system of horns and flashing lights.

The first Phoenix police officer to be killed in the line of duty in Phoenix occurred on February 5, 1925.[4] Officer Haze Burch was shot and killed by two brothers on the run from authorities. The men were later arrested when they were found hiding at the Tempe Buttes.[4]

In 1929, patrolmen worked six days a week and were paid $100 a month. The police department moved into the west section of the new city-county building at 17 South 2nd Avenue.[5] The building included jail cells on the top two floors. In 1933, Ruth Meicher joined the police department as the first female jail matron. The city at this time was only 6.4 square miles (17 km2), with a population of 48,200. In the year prior, the first police radio system in Arizona was installed for the department with the call letters KGZJ.[5]

The department reorganized in 1950 with four divisions, Traffic, Detectives, Patrol and Service Divisions.[5] Officers worked 44 hours per week for $288 per month. In 1974, the Air patrol unit was established initially consisting of one helicopter. A few months later, a fixed wing aircraft and two additional helicopters were added.[5]

In 2008, the department formed the Block Watch program, which is a partnership between citizens and the police department to help deter youth from crime. The department also runs a similar program under the name G.A.I.N. which stands for Getting Arizona Involved in Neighborhoods.[6]


The Phoenix Police Department is divided into six divisions: Community and Support Services, Investigations, Management Services, Patrol, Reserve, Strategic and Tactical Services.[7]

Patrol Division[edit]

The Phoenix Police Department Patrol Division is organized into seven precincts.

Desert Horizon Precinct (600)

The Desert Horizon precinct covers 74.92 square miles with an approximate population of 311,770 residents. This precinct also runs the Sunnyslope Neighborhood Police Station.

Black Mountain Precinct (200)

The Black Mountain Precinct covers 182 square miles with a population of 224,000 residents.

Cactus Park Precinct (900)

The Cactus Park precinct covers an area of 30 square miles with a population of 188,000 residents. This precinct also is responsible for the Goelet A.C. Beuf Neighborhood Police Station.

Mountain View Precinct (700)

The Mountain View precinct covers an area of 46 square miles with a population of 214,386.

Central City Precinct (500)

The Central City precinct covers 18 square miles with a population of 91,500.

Maryvale-Estrella Mountain Precinct (800)

The Maryvale Estrella Mountain precinct covers 75 square miles with a population of 304,546. Effective October 20, 2014, the Maryvale Precinct and Estrella Mountain Precinct combined to form the Maryvale Estrella Mountain Precinct.[8]

South Mountain Precinct (400)

The South Mountain precinct covers 115.0 square miles with a population of 271,785.

Community And Support Services Division
  • Central Booking
  • Communications Bureau
  • Community Relations Bureau
  • Employment Services Bureau
  • Information Technology Bureau
  • Property Management Bureau
  • Strategic Information Bureau
  • Training Bureau

Investigations Division

  • Family Investigations Bureau
  • Violent Crimes Bureau
  • Property Crimes Bureau
  • Laboratory Services Bureau
  • Drug Enforcement Bureau

Strategic And Tactical Services Division

  • Airport Bureau
  • Air Support Unit
  • Canine And Specialty Vehicles
  • Homeland Defense Bureau
  • Special Assignments Unit
  • Tactical Support Bureau
  • Transportation Bureau

Reserve Division Patrol Division

Management Services Division

  • Chiefs Office
  • Code Enforcement Unit
  • Fiscal management Bureau
  • Legal Unit
  • Professional Standards Bureau
  • Public Affairs Bureau

Rank Structure[edit]

Title Insignia
Chief of Police
4 Gold Stars.svg
Executive Assistant Chief
3 Gold Stars.svg
Assistant Chief
3 Gold Stars.svg
2 Gold Stars.svg
US-O1 insignia.svg
Sergeant Stripes - Blue w-Gold.png
Police Officer

The position of Executive Assistant Chief is considered second-in-command of the Department. The collar rank insignia is indistinguishable from other Assistant Chiefs. However, the title "Executive Assistant Chief" is inscribed in the title scroll on the top of the breast badge to indicate the position.

After ten years in the rank of Sergeant, employees are authorized to add one rocker to the bottom of the sergeant stripes. After fifteen years in rank, two rockers are authorized and after twenty years in the rank of sergeant, three rockers are authorized to be added to the sergeant stripes. There is no associated elevation in actual rank, and no additional pay, as these extra rockers are optional and only meant to distinguish time in the grade and are not a promotion.

The Phoenix Police Department also uses shoulder patches to denote the positions of Sergeant-in-Training and Field Training Officer, although these are not official supervisory ranks.

Title Insignia
Corporal 2.png
Field Training Officer



A 1919 Ford Model T Phoenix Police Cruiser. It had a 20 horsepower engine and ran a maximum speed of 45 MPH.
Phoenix Police Helicopter

The Phoenix Police Department uses Ford Crown Victorias and Chevrolet Impalas for the newer cruisers.


The Phoenix Police Department uses Chevrolet Tahoes for their SUVs.


The motorcycle division uses Honda ST1300P Motorcycles, Kawasaki 1000 Motorcycles, and Harley-Davidson motorcycles.



The department uses three AgustaWestland A119 helicopters. They also fly five Eurocopter AS350 B3's and an AgustaWestland A109 Power for rescues.


The department also uses a Pilatus PC-12. This aircraft is intended for surveillance, but also serves as a transport.[9]

Additionally, the Air Support Unit has three Cessna aircraft; one 1978 182Q, one 1981 172P and a P210R.[10]


Phoenix Police Officers will typically be armed with a Glock pistol usually in either .40 S&W or 9mm. The Glock 21 .45 ACP is also authorized.[4]


  • On March 13, 1963, Phoenix Police Officers Carroll Cooley and Wilfred Young arrested Ernesto Miranda for kidnapping, rape, and armed robbery. The department got a written confession by Miranda, after interrogation, without informing him of his rights. This led to the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona.
  • On October 5, 2010, Phoenix Police Officer Richard Chrisman, who was responding to a call of a domestic disturbance, entered a mobile home in which Danny Rodriguez lived. Witnesses say that after Rodriguez confronted Chrisman saying that he needed a warrant to enter the home, Chrisman then put his service pistol to Rodriguez's head and yelled "I don't need a warrant, motherfucker". Court papers then say that an argument ensued, and at some point officers used both tasers and pepper spray on Rodriguez. Some time after this, Chrisman then shot the family's dog, and in a scuffle over a bike, shot and killed an unarmed Rodriguez. Chrisman, initially arrested on aggravated assault, has since been charged with second degree murder in the death of Danny Rodriguez.[11]
  • In August 2011, Officer Jeffrey Gordon was suspended from his job for four days for touching a female city worker inappropriately. The incident received attention in the press as the policeman was the son of Mayor Phil Gordon.[12]
  • In September 2011, Officer Jason A. Brooks beat a handcuffed suspect. He resigned from the department and in July 2012 pleaded guilty to a single charge of disorderly conduct and was sentenced to a day on parole.[13]
  • In July 2012, press reports indicated that Sergeant Arnold Davis was caught on a video camera stealing thousands of dollars from a business while he was there on official business. Davis, represented by a lawyer from the Phoenix Police Sergeants and Lieutenants Association began negotiating an early retirement to avoid criminal charges.[14]
  • In August, 2012, Detective Christopher J. Wilson resigned from the department when he was accused of ten counts of sex with underaged boys. Wilson pleaded not guilty to the charges.[15]
  • In December 2012, Detective George Contreras pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge that he made false reports concerning after-hours security he work for which he was paid, but that he never performed. He was ordered to pay over $6,000 to groups he had defrauded. Contreras resigned from the department before his court appearance.[16]

Fallen officers[edit]

Since 1925, the Phoenix Police Department has suffered a total of 40 deaths in the line of duty.[17]

Officer Date Details
Officer Haze Burch
February 5, 1925
Officer Walter H. Stewart
February 19, 1952
Vehicular assault
Officer Dale C. Stone
December 28, 1970
Motorcycle accident
Officer Albert R. Bluhm
December 28, 1970
Officer Clay Quincy Haywood
November 22, 1971
Motorcycle accident
Officer Michael D. Hemschmeyer
November 2, 1973
Automobile accident
Officer Gilbert R. Chavez
June 16, 1975
Police Guard John Franklin MacInnis
February 22, 1976
Heart attack
Officer Arthur Del Gaudio Jr.
April 22, 1976
Vehicle pursuit
Officer Ignacio Gonzales Conchos
July 1, 1982
Officer John R. Davis Sr.
August 6, 1982
Officer Kenneth E. Campbell
January 29, 1984
Vehicle pursuit
Officer Errol C. Hawkins
April 24, 1984
Struck by vehicle
Officer Robert L. Polmanteer
May 4, 1984
Motorcycle accident
Officer Kevin W. Forsythe
September 7, 1984
Struck by vehicle
Officer John A. Robertson
November 19, 1984
Officer Robert T. Fike
January 8, 1986
Officer Kenneth L. Collings
May 27, 1988
Officer Patrick O. Briggs
June 20, 1990
Vehicle pursuit
Sergeant John Wayne Domblisky
July 26, 1990
Vehicular assault
Sergeant Danny L. Tunney
July 26, 1990
Vehicular assault
Officer Leonard Leon Kolodziej
September 4, 1991
Sergeant David Martin Kieffer
May 21, 1997
Vehicular assault
Officer Marc Todd Atkinson
March 26, 1999
Officer Goelet Alessandro Carlo Beuf
November 1, 1999
Officer Beryl Wayne Scott Jr.
September 10, 2002
Motorcycle accident
Officer Donald Ralph Schultz
May 12, 2004
Officer Eric James White
August 28, 2004
Officer Jason Alan Wolfe
August 28, 2004
Officer David Christopher Uribe
May 10, 2005
Officer Paul Robert Salmon
November 29, 2005
Automobile accident
Officer George Valentino Cortez Jr.
July 27, 2007
Officer Nicki James (Nick) Erfle
September 18, 2007
Officer Shane Figueroa
October 25, 2008
Automobile accident
Officer Travis P. Murphy
May 26, 2010
Officer Daryl Reatz
May 19, 2013
Struck by vehicle
Officer John Hobbs
March 3, 2014
Officer David Glasser
May 19, 2016
Officer Paul Rutherford
March 21, 2019
Struck by vehicle
Commander Greg Carnicle
March 29, 2020


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Police employee data by city agency, 2012
  2. ^ a b "Adopted Budget for Fiscal Year 2019-2020" (PDF). City of Phoenix Budget and Research Department. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  3. ^ a b c
  4. ^ a b [1]
  5. ^ a b c d [2]
  6. ^ "G.A.I.N." Archived from the original on 2013-08-09.
  7. ^ "Department Organization Chart" (PDF).
  8. ^ "Police - Maryvale Estrella Mountain Precinct". Retrieved 2018-09-15.
  9. ^ "Phoenix PD Purchases Plane".
  10. ^ " Database Search".
  11. ^ [3]
  12. ^ Mayor's son suspended for alleged inappropriate touching, by Alicia E. Barrón,, 25 August 2011
  13. ^ Former Phoenix police officer gets day of probation in assault, by J. J. Hensely, Arizona Republic, 12 June 2012
  14. ^ Phoenix police Sgt probed for taking cash, by Donna Rossi, CBS5AZ.COM, 17 July 2012, retrieved 21 July 2012
  15. ^ Former Phoenix officer pleads not guilty in sex case, by Laurie Merrill and Cecilia Chan, 23 August 2012, Arizona Republic
  16. ^ Former police officer pleads no contest in off-duty security case, by Lori Jane Gliha,, 3 December 2012
  17. ^ The Officer Down Memorial Page

External links[edit]