Phoenix Police Make Largest Single Seizure of Fentanyl Pills in Department History

The Phoenix Police Department (PHXPD) shared Friday that officials made the largest single seizure of fentanyl pills in the department’s history this week.

“Phoenix police detectives with the Drug Enforcement Bureau have made the single largest fentanyl bust in Phoenix police history. Two men have been arrested in connection to the seizure which netted more than one million fentanyl pills,” according to a media advisory shared with the Arizona Sun Times.

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Phoenix Hires New Interim Police Chief

Arizona’s largest city has officially hired a new interim police chief after the City Council approved his contract. 

“I want to thank City Manager Jeff Barton for this opportunity to work with the women and men of the Phoenix Police Department [PPD] and the communities which make up the fabric of Phoenix,” said Interim Chief Michael Sullivan. “I also want to thank Mayor Gallego and the City Council for approving my employment agreement. This is an important time for the City and the Phoenix Police Department.”

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Maricopa County Attorney Changes Policy for Cases Involving Gun Violence

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell announced Thursday that she would change prosecution policies for cases involving gun violence in an attempt to ensure violent criminals face jail time.

“The revision to our plea policies recognizes that these crimes will not be tolerated in Maricopa County. Those who choose to put the residents of this county at risk by using a firearm in the commission of felony will be held accountable,” Mitchell said. “I will not let the Valley of the Sun and surrounding communities become another San Francisco or Chicago where law and order has been overlooked by prosecutors, which has caused unnecessary chaos.”

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Phoenix Police Seize Hundreds of ‘Crime Guns’ in Crackdown Operation

The Phoenix Police Department (PHXPD) announced that after roughly a month after the launch of “Operation Gun Crime Crackdown” (OGCC), officers seized hundreds of crime guns to reduce gun violence in the city.

“The results of this targeted effort are a great example of how working with our law enforcement partners can enhance the great work the men and women of the Phoenix Police Department do every day,” said Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams.

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Phoenix Detective Hospitalized After Being Ambushed, Shot

A detective with the Phoenix Police Department was hospitalized after being ambushed and shot by two individuals, according to the law enforcement office.

Two men, identified as Ahmani Gordon and Aaron Ware, approached the car from both sides of the vehicle and fired shots at the officer. One stood on the passenger side and the other in front of the vehicle, reportedly firing more than a dozen shots at the vehicle.

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City of Phoenix to Vote on Increasing Phoenix Police Officers’ Starting Salaries by 40 Percent

The Phoenix City Council is set to vote next Wednesday on a salary hike for new recruits that would lift their base pay from $48,942 (or $51,459 if they have college degrees) to $68,661. Officers making less than the new minimum base pay would be brought up to $72,779, and pay grade steps from recruits to assistant chiefs would increase. Other Phoenix Police Department (PPD) employees would receive a 3% pay increase in October.

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Attorney General Mark Brnovich Indicts Man Arrested for Illicit Drug Trafficking

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R) announced the indictment of a man recently arrested on drug trafficking-related charges.

“On May 11, 2022, law enforcement arrested [Jose Luis] Montoya Miranda on suspicion of trafficking illicit drugs. Law enforcement located approximately 140,000 fentanyl pills, over 11 pounds of fentanyl powder, 2.11 pounds of heroin, 2.9 pounds of methamphetamine, and a handgun. The charges are based on an investigation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA),” according to a statement by the attorney general’s office.

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Arizona Gov. Ducey Sends Four Tons of Surplus Defensive Gear and Combat Equipment to Ukraine

Arizona is sending thousands of pounds of equipment and supplies to support the Ukrainian military amid Russia’s invasion of the country.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey visited the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs for the official send-off.

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State Rep. Espinoza Sponsors Bill to Fight Back Against 6,500 Percent Surge in Catalytic Converter Thefts

Diego Espinoza

The theft of catalytic converters has become a big problem in Arizona, and State Rep. Diego Espinoza (D-Tolleson) is sponsoring legislation to expand the law against it. Current law only prohibits buying or selling a used catalytic converter outside of regular transactions; HB 2652 goes beyond that to make it illegal to possess, solicit, or advertise a used catalytic converter outside of regular transactions. It would also mandate reporting sales to DPS and tracking.

HB 2652 looks very likely to pass, as 49 members of the House voted for it and only 10 Republicans voted against it. It passed the Senate Committee on Transportation and Technology 9-0, and is now headed for the Senate Rules Committee. 

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Phoenix Police Forced to Transfer Specialty Officers to Patrol to Deal With Shortage

The Phoenix Police Department (PPD) announced on Wednesday that around 100 officers and detectives from specialty divisions such as Violent Crimes are being transferred to patrol units due to a severe lack of officers on the streets and handling 911 calls. Their goal is to get the number of officers on patrol duty back up over 1,000. 

The PPD acknowledged officer attrition reached an “unprecedented” rate in early 2021. “These trends indicated the loss rate would become critical due to insufficient hiring and increased employee separations,” Phoenix Police Department Chief Jeri L. Williams said in the plan. 

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Five Police Officers Shot, Four Others Injured in Phoenix Shootout

Details emerged throughout the day Friday of an incident that led to five Phoenix police officers being shot, four injured by bullet shrapnel, one suspect dead and a woman injured. 

The deadly incident unfolded just after 2 a.m. on Friday morning, when police responded to a shooting at a Phoenix home, according to Phoenix Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Andy Williams. 

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Poll: Phoenicians Blame Democratic Mayor and City Council, Not Police for Public Safety Problems

A survey conducted by OH Predictive Insights on behalf of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association (PLEA) found that Phoenix voters overwhelmingly fault Democratic Mayor Kate Gallego and the Democrat dominated City Council for public safety problems. More than three in five Phoenix voters (62%) blame them, while only 15% say the Phoenix Police Department is responsible. Hispanics were slightly more likely to blame the mayor and city council, 64%.

“It is evident that the recent anti-police rhetoric within the Phoenix City Council does not match voter sentiment within the City of Phoenix,” said Michael “Britt” London, President of PLEA. “Phoenix voters value our police officers and recognize that we need additional resources to protect our community and bring crime rates down. Voters clearly want the Mayor and Phoenix City Council to take action and direct additional funding and resources to the Phoenix Police Department to keep residents safe.”

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Phoenix Police Force Short Dozens of Officers Below Minimum Levels

Arizona’s capital is fighting to recruit new police officers as its current patrol force is more than four dozen officers short of the bare minimum.

Officers with the Phoenix Police Department reported their monthly recruitment and staffing work to the city council’s Public Safety and Justice Subcommittee on Wednesday morning. 

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Moses Sanchez Announces Campaign for Phoenix City Council to Replace Term Limited Sal DiCiccio

With popular conservative Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio term limited, local activist and professor Moses Sanchez, a Republican, announced he is running for the District 6 slot based in Ahwatukee. He ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Phoenix in 2018, a difficult race for Republicans since Phoenix has more Democrats, but District 6 leans Republican. 

“I’m proud to call Ahwatukee home,” he said in a statement on August 11. “I’ve raised my family in Phoenix, served on our local school board, run for Mayor, and worked to grow a small business. I’m running for Phoenix City Council to provide the same opportunities this city has given me and stand up for the most overlooked community in Phoenix.”

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