Faced with officer shortages, the Phoenix Police Department will be hiring 25 civilians as investigators.
The department recently received the city council’s approval to hire 33 new professional staff members. Twenty-five of those hires will be for a newly created civilian investigator position. The other eight, will add to the department's already active police assistant staff. The police department announced the city’s approval for the new positions on its website.
Assistant Executive Chief Michael Kurtenbach said the department is down more than 400 officers from its authorized strength.
“As a result of the police staffing shortage being experienced nationwide by most agencies, the Phoenix Police Department identified job functions currently being performed by sworn personnel which can be completed by civilians. The push to hire more civilians comes on the heels of moving more than 100 sworn members of the department from specialty roles over to patrol,” the department’s announcement states.
The civilian investigators will not replace detectives, but supplement and support the investigative mission. They will assist with administrative tasks, follow up on leads, and interview witnesses, among other things according to the department. The civilian investigators will be supervised by a police sergeant, but will not carry a gun or make arrests. They may drive unmarked police vehicles at the discretion of an investigative supervisor for investigative or administrative purposes.
The salary range advertised by the department is $51,771 to $78,769 annually. Minimum qualifications include being a high school graduate or GED equivalency and two years of investigative experience in law enforcement, public safety, loss prevention, crime scene management, forensics, or other relevant legal or private sector fields.
The additional civilian hires will be police assistants that handle non-injury accidents, parking issues, lost or found property and a list of other things not requiring a sworn police officer. The salary range listed is from $35,588 to $51,833 annually.