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Statement From Phoenix Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 2 Regarding U.S. Department of Justice Investigation

The Phoenix Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 2 has represented police officers in the City of Phoenix for 85 years. Never before has public safety in our City faced such an existential moment. Should the Phoenix City Council vote “yes” to a consent decree that effectively hands over control of the Phoenix Police Department to the U.S. Department of Justice, that single political decision will have extremely dangerous consequences for every Phoenix resident, every police officer, every worker and every visitor to our city.

Over the past 15 years, the DOJ has used consent decrees to remove local control from the police departments in 21 cities across the United States, including Chicago, Seattle, New Orleans, and Baltimore. This seizure of local police departments has destroyed the morale of the men and women on the frontlines, decimated the manpower of agencies already struggling to hire officers, and cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. Meanwhile, crime has surged in most of these cities.

Violent crime in New Orleans? Up 29 percent in the three years after the consent decree was implemented. In Albuquerque, violent crime rose 34 percent in the three years after the consent decree was implemented. In Chicago, 458 people have been murdered this year – so far.

“The consent decree has not had an appreciable effect on police conduct or public perception of the department,” the Manhattan Institute wrote in its comprehensive July report analyzing the Chicago consent decree. “And there is at least some evidence that the process leading up to the consent decree exacerbated Chicago’s already-substantial crime problem.”

The experiment of handing over city police departments to federal control after a years-long DOJ “pattern-or-practice investigation” has failed in city after city. To date, the DOJ has spent 14 months and more than $2 million in taxpayer funds investigating the Phoenix PD. The members and leaders of Phoenix FOP Lodge 2 want to be as clear as words allow: We urge the Phoenix City Council to challenge the findings of the upcoming DOJ report and to strongly reject ongoing federal oversight of Phoenix Police.

The Phoenix Police Department – which has long been a leader in community policing responsive to the needs of Phoenix residents – should be led by local leaders who report to the Phoenix City Manager and to locally elected Council members who understand and live in our neighborhoods. Policing put under the control of federal judges and highly paid consultants is a failed experiment that will waste taxpayer resources and make Phoenix less safe for civilians and for cops. For the good of our City, we hope each of you will vote against a proposal that would be catastrophic for the PPD and for Phoenix residents.

Phoenix Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 2