Phoenix Police Department Seeks To Diversify By Promoting Wide Array Of Career Possibilities

Det. Sonia Stanley with the Family Investigations Bureau poses with Leona, a trained comfort dog often used to provide support to children during criminal investigations. (Photo by Lysandra Marquez/Cronkite New

By Lysandra Marquez

PHOENIX – Hundreds of people gathered at the Phoenix Convention Center last Friday to learn more about the diverse opportunities within the Phoenix Police Department, and for many it was also a chance to see if they had what it takes to join the ranks.

Sgt. Alan Pfohl hoped the event would provide more information for those interested in a career in law enforcement and also addressed the topic of diversifying the recruitment process.

“We are interested in getting representatives from all over the community because that is who we serve, so, we want everybody who is interested in this job to come down and apply regardless of their background, as long as they have a fairly clean background and a heart for service,” Pfohl said.

Among the youngest of the candidates were high school students Breanna Fierro and Amber Enchera, who are also involved with the Criminal Justice program offered through the East Valley Institute of Technology.

Enchera, 18, is considering working as a police dispatch operator, while Fierro, 17, indicated she’s more interested in becoming an officer and working with domestic violence victims.

While Fierro and Enchera expressed enthusiasm about potential career opportunities within law enforcement, they felt the relationship between their communities and law enforcement was a ‘love-hate’ one.

“Everything that’s been going on with the cops and the use of force toward the people really affects what people think about law enforcement,” said Fierro.

Officer Lisa Fisher, a canine handler with the City of Phoenix Police Department, poses with Jax. (Photo by Lysandra Marquez/Cronkite News)

Among the many units on display during the career fair were the 911 dispatch department, the K-9 unit, the Family Investigations Bureau and many others.

Aspiring candidates who are at least 21 years old and interested in getting the process started were able to take the written portion of the police exam and know if they passed the same day. Those who moved on were then able to participate in the physical agility portion, which took place at the Phoenix Regional Police Academy the following day. The process for those who are successful in the written and the physical portion normally takes three-to-five months before they are admitted into the police academy.

Information about upcoming test dates and career fairs for the Phoenix Police Department can be accessed here.