New Phoenix office plans to investigate police misconduct claims

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The hiring process will soon begin for a new office in Phoenix to investigate claims of police misconduct and officer-involved shootings. Last month, the city council approved language outlining the duties of the office of accountability and transparency. It’s a major victory for Vice Mayor Carlos Garcia, of the city of Phoenix, and several groups that have been critical of Phoenix police, especially their interactions with communities of color.

We talked with Vice Mayor Garcia about the office’s responsibilities. He talks about what the office of Accountability and Transparency would do. He said they will hold the police officers in the city accountable.

According to Garcia, this has been in the works for about 30 years. He is excited that they are moving forward with it. We talk about the critics surrounding it. Some say it is redundant and that there are already things like this.

The Vice Mayor tells us why it is different. We talk about the authority that the office will have. He said they will investigate individual incidents and overall policies in the police department. They also will have communication with the community about police brutality and with people who have been in contact with the police.

We ask what influence this office would have in terms of policy changes or discipline. He said he believes it will have a great amount of influence. We also talked about how this new office will factor into other areas.

He explains who is picking the people and how the process will work. They hope the office will operate in 2022 and start investigating things by early next year.

We ask how they will define success. He said they have to be successful by gaining trust. It will only be successful if everyone, the community, the phoenix council, and the staff, joins together so phoenix can be a safer city.

Carlos Garcia, Vice Mayor, City of Phoenix

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