World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Phoenix Police Department


Phoenix Police Department

Phoenix Police Department
Abbreviation PHXPD
Patch of the Phoenix Police Department.
Badge of the Phoenix Police Department.
Motto To Ensure the Safety and Security for Each Person in our Community
Agency overview
Formed 1881
Preceding agency Phoenix City Marshals
Employees 4,379
Annual budget $577 million [1]
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* City of Phoenix in the state of Arizona, USA
Map of Phoenix Police Department's jurisdiction.
Size 516 sq mi (1,340 km2).
Population 1.6 million[2]
Legal jurisdiction City of Phoenix
General nature
  • Law enforcement
  • Local civilian police
Operational structure
Officers 3,231
Unsworn members 1,148
Agency executive Joe Yahner, Public Safety Manager
Helicopters 9
Airplanes 3
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

The Phoenix Police Department is the law enforcement agency responsible for the city of Phoenix, Arizona. Today, the Phoenix Police Department comprises more than 3,200 officers and more than 1,100 support personnel, making it the seventh largest police department in the United States. [3] The department protects a population of more than 1.6 million[2] and patrol almost 516 square miles (1,340 km2)[2] of the sixth 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 eight divisions. The North patrol division, South patrol division, strategic services, investigations, administrative services, professional standards, technical services and reserve. [7]

Patrol Division

The Phoenix Police Department is organized into eight precints.

North Division Operations

Desert Horizon (200)

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 (600)

The Black Mountain Precinct covers 182 square miles with a population of 224,000 residents. This precinct also is responsible for the Goelet A.C. Beuf Neighborhood Police Station.

Cactus Park (900)

The Cactus Park precinct covers an area of 30 square miles with a population of 188,000 residents.

Mountain View (700)

The Mountain View precinct covers an area of 36.71 square miles with a population of 214,386.

South Division Operations

Central City (500)

The Central City precinct covers 18 square miles with a population of 91,000.

The Estrella Mountain Precinct (300)

The Estrella Mountain precinct covers 69 square miles and is the city's newest and state-of-the-art facility.

Maryvale (800)

The Maryvale precinct covers 15.23 square miles with a population of 116,160.

South Mountain (400)

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

Strategic Division

  • Airport Bureau
  • Transit and Downtown Operations Bureau
  • Homeland Defense Bureau
  • Traffic Bureau
  • Tactical Support Bureau
  • Duty Commander

Investigations Division

  • Family Investigations Bureau
  • Violent Crimes Bureau
  • Property Crimes Bureau
  • Major Offender Unit
  • Drug Enforcement Bureau
  • Quality Assurance Unit




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


The Phoenix Police Department uses Chevy Tahoe's for their SUVs.


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



The department uses nine A119 helicopters.


The department also uses three Pilatus PC-12 planes. [8]


  • 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.[9]
  • 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.[10]
  • 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. [11]
  • 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. [12]
  • 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. [13]
  • 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 did. He was ordered to pay over $6, 000 to groups he had defrauded. Contreras resigned from the department before his court appearance.[14]

Fallen officers

Since 1925, the Phoenix Police Department has suffered a total of 36 deaths in the line of duty.[15]

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 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

See also


External links

  • Phoenix Police Department website
  • Phoenix Police Museum
  • Phoenix Block Watch Advisory Board
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.