The men and women of the Phoenix Police Department swore an oath to serve and protect its community. We respond to calls for service and suspicious activity in an effort to address criminal behavior and potential threats. PPSLA supports not only the supervisors who respond to these critical incidents, but we also support the officers who are involved. These men and women are most often the first on scene, and they take necessary steps to address the threats they face - all with an obligation to keep themselves and the community safe.
Those of us who wear a uniform and are sworn to uphold the law are also required to act to address situations that we face. This year, our members responded to calls where individuals were violent and represented threats to the community. A small percentage of these calls required the use of deadly force - and this deadly force is both justified and appropriate under the law.
We do not have the answers as to why there is an increase in the number of law enforcement shootings this year in Maricopa County. To be honest, answering this question - about larger social issues and criminal behaviors - is beyond our training and experience. We don’t know why, for example, criminals display guns and pose threats to civilians on city buses. We don’t know why criminals steal cars at gunpoint and fire weapons at innocent civilians. But both of those situations happened this year, and when the suspect failed to comply with commands and continued to threaten civilians and officers, deadly force was necessary and appropriate to prevent further violence.
PPSLA and our members address every critical incident - and every call for service - on an individual basis. We support others (including the Department administration) who - with good intentions - attempt to answer the broader questions as to “why” these circumstances occur. And, as always, we support our co-workers who are faced with split-second decisions and who act according to the law.