VIDEO: Phoenix PD Submitting Fewer Felony Cases to County, Cause Disputed
The Phoenix Police Department has had a significant drop in felony cases submitted to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office in recent months, according to data obtained by ABC15.
From October of 2015 through February of 2016, Phoenix police submitted 25% fewer cases to county prosecutors compared to the same time period one year earlier.
In total cases, the decrease equates to nearly 1,600 felonies.
Recently, the number of misdemeanor charges has also dropped considerably. The timing appears to correspond with the mid-October launch of the police department's $30 million record management system, or RMS.
But there's not a consensus on whether the new RMS is to blame.
Multiple officers and detectives throughout the department tell ABC15 that the new RMS is cumbersome and bogging them down. But city officials refute that it's primarily responsible. A spokesman said that the department's bare-bones police staff has had a greater effect.
Regardless, a retired Phoenix police commander and criminal justice professor said the drop is alarming.
"You have a significant problem that must be addressed," said Jeff Hynes, who now teaches at Arizona State University and Glendale Community College. "Bells and whistles should be going off."