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Phoenix PD to add non-sworn ‘civilian investigators’ amid staffing shortage

The new positions aim to free up detectives’ caseloads

By Suzie Ziegler

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Police Department will add 33 non-sworn positions to its ranks, including 25 “civilian investigators,” a new position meant to alleviate detectives’ caseloads.

The Phoenix City Council approved the plan to help the department through a staffing shortage, AZ Family reported on Wednesday. The department is over 400 officers down from its authorized cap, according to police.

The civilian investigators “will not replace detectives but supplement and support the investigative mission,” said Phoenix PD in a press release. “The goal is for those who fill these positions is to do administrative tasks, follow up on leads, and interview witnesses, among other things.”

The remaining eight positions will be filled with “police assistants,” an already-active position within the department. Police assistants respond to calls that don’t require a sworn officer, such as non-injury car crashes, parking issues, and lost or found property.

“Hiring civilians to take on an investigative role is intended to make sure crimes get hands-on attention and, hopefully, solved in a timely manner,” police said. “Those chosen to perform these duties will play a critical role in many aspects of investigations and police work.”

The non-sworn employees will not carry a gun or make arrests, according to the report.

MORE: ‘Quasi-police’: More than 600 apply for Phoenix PD civilian jobs