After 3 ambushes in 4 months, Phoenix police chief gives candid interview

"I am still baffled and amazed by the resiliency of the men and women of the Phoenix Police Department," said Chief Jeri Williams

By Suzie Ziegler 

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Police Department has faced three ambush attacks on officers in the past four months. It’s also seeing the same issues that many departments across the country are facing: staffing and community trust. On Thursday, Chief Jeri Williams sat down for a candid interview about the strain her officers are under. 

On the topic of the recent ambushes, Williams says she’s unsure why the attacks appear to be escalating: “The why is still a question for all of us." 

Williams said a commonality among the ambush suspects was that they all had a history of being armed and dangerous. The chief says she is proud of her officers who continue to work hard every day despite the dangers. 

"I am still baffled and amazed by the resiliency of the men and women, sworn and civilian members of the Phoenix Police Department," Williams said. 

The department is currently working with the ATF and U.S. Marshals to tamp down on violent crime, according to the report. Williams says she wants to find a solution that keeps the community safe while maintaining individuals’ constitutional rights. 

The department is also facing staffing shortages and morale issues. Williams has had reassign officers in specialty positions to patrol 

"No matter what’s going on, officers still respond to calls for service. Our job is to make sure they have tools and staffing levels to be safe," Williams said. 

[RELATED: Rapid response: How would you have handled the tactical decisions facing the ambushed Phoenix officers?]

Watch the full interview with Williams below: 

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