Laveen residents speak up over police staffing

- The City of Phoenix has begun holding informational meetings for the community ahead of them setting their budget for the next year.

The council is going out into the community in the community weeks asking taxpayers how they want to see the $1.2 billion 2016-2017 budget spent.

"It's a great chance for us to get our marching orders for the next year, we've been working on a lot of things because we heard directly from the residents," said Kate Gallego.

On Tuesday council members met with residents of Laveen at Cesar Chavez High School where they got an earful. Many residents voiced their frustration and concern over the lack of Phoenix Police services.

"I think the safety of our community is a priority, we cannot attract businesses, or keep businesses if we do not have safety on our streets," said one resident.

Many complain the response times are too long, and police are extremely understaffed. Some also voice concerns over the proposed millions in the budget used to buy police body cameras, saying the money would be better used to hire more officers.

"You tell us to call in, you tell us to report everything, and then they tell us there is no one there to help us, and we have a problem with that... we like body cameras, but I talk to the officers, and they would rather have another officer with them to help fight crime," said another resident.

Other ideas proposed at the meeting included more parks and after school programs. Vice Mayor Gallego said they take in all considerations from the public.

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