Phoenix Law Enforcement, in their mission to fight crime, took two important steps this week to help victims of abuse and take guns off the street.
The first step is the initiative from the Phoenix Police Foundation to raise largely private funds to create a new Victims Center within the current Family Investigations Bureau at 2120 North Central Avenue.
The purpose of this new victim center is to:
“…Provide a more welcoming environment, with warmer interview rooms and a pass-through entryway into the Forensic Nurse Examination (FNE) rooms, allowing victims to feel more safe and secure.”
This is necessary because currently:
“…Victims do not have a secure or private location and must wait in a public waiting area with high foot traffic. This is not ideal as many victims are experiencing a traumatic event and are attempting to gain a sense of dignity and control of their lives, which have just been turned upside down. As a result, some victims leave before ever reporting the crime, which goes unsolved.”
So far, the Foundation has raised at least $170,000 so far with one donor, Auto Pros contributing $50,000 moments before a media event, headlined by Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, to fund the project.
This gift from Auto Pros will help improve the Family Advocacy Center so it’s safer and more comfortable for people who have experienced DV or sexual assault. Thank you to Phoenix Police Foundation for raising money for this project. Please visit https://t.co/HBXCvSZCn8 to help! pic.twitter.com/yes0NQ5a48
— Mayor Kate Gallego (@MayorGallego) August 16, 2022
In reporting from AZ Central, Phoenix Police Foundation President Tim Thomas stated:
“The Family Investigations Bureau, where we are today, sees over 2,400 sexual assault and domestic violence victims a year. This new space will provide a more welcoming environment with formal interview rooms, private meeting rooms, and a passthrough into the forensic nurse exam room, allowing victims more security and safety…With a lot of things, foundations, private funding, private partners, and public partners can expedite things. We knew that through private funding and the community, we could do this in the most expeditious way. And that’s really why we got involved.”
Please click here to see all the project details and to make a donation. The project is expected to be fully funded and completed by the end of 2022.
Progress in Operation Gun Crackdown
Mayor Gallego’s office and the City of Phoenix also announced some good news with the progress in Operation Gun Crackdown, a joint effort between Phoenix Law Enforcement and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. So far, this joint mission has resulted in the seizure of 711 firearms and the arrest of 525 individuals since the program was launched last month.
Commenting on this positive development, Mayor Gallego offered:
“This is spectacular success in a very short period of time. I’m painfully aware that we have much more work to do. At the same time, it’s gratifying to know that for every gun we take away from someone who intends to do harm, there is perhaps one more neighborhood, one more family, and at least one more child who can feel safer.”
She also posted on social media:
Look at this, seized during Operation Gun Crime Crackdown-a flare gun modified to shoot a .9mm round. It's just one of 711 guns seized in just over a month. Thanks to @PhoenixPolice, @marcoattorney, @ATFPhoenix for a targeted operation that’s working to protect our community. pic.twitter.com/5sYkPeUrO1
— Mayor Kate Gallego (@MayorGallego) August 17, 2022
Phoenix Police Chief Jerri Williams, in the same press release from Mayor Gallego’s office, commented:
“I commend the brave Phoenix Police Officers who go out every day and face dangerous and sometimes deadly scenarios involving those who commit crimes with a gun. Those who illegally possess guns seek to disrupt the safety of our community and my office is committed to holding them accountable. I support the lawful ownership of firearms and this partnership is about prosecuting those who seek to break the law and do harm in our community.”
According to the Mayors Press release, the program to confiscate these dangerous weapons and arrest these suspected transgressors will last until early October.
“Residents with tips can call a special hotline at 602-644-5805, or email azactic.gov, or contact Silent Witness at 602-480-Witness (480-948-6377) or 602-480-Testigo (480-837-8446).”