The Phoenix Police Department is hiring and plans to add 300 officers by 2017.

Beginning Aug. 22, the Phoenix Police Department will be accepting applications for new police officers. Those interested in applying can visit www.phoenix.gov/police/joinphxpd.

This is the first time in five years the city has announced plans to hire for the department. Fifteen positions will be filled by March and a total of 100 will be filled in 2015.

“This is great news for the citizens of Phoenix and will significantly contribute to the safety of our city and our officers,” said City Councilman Michael Nowakowski. “As chairman of the City Council Public Safety & Veterans Subcommittee, I want to thank Mayor Greg Stanton for his leadership on this important issue. In addition, I want to recognize the members of the Public Safety & Veterans Subcommittee, council members Thelda Williams, Kate Gallego and Laura Pastor, who have made the hiring of more police officers our No. 1 priority.

“As with all of my colleagues on the City Council, we will continue to work at the federal, state and local levels to seek grant opportunities that will assist in replenishing our police force. While this announcement is certainly celebrated, we must continue to advocate for additional grants and budget efficiencies that will allow for this hiring to continue. It is our responsibility to protect our communities and we, as a team, will remain focused on this priority.”

Councilman Daniel Valenzuela said the city is waiting to hear if it will be awarded a $3.1 million Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant that would allow the city to hire 25 more officers on top of the 300 the city has already committed to hiring.

The police department will go through a reorganizing process in October, moving from eight precincts to seven. The changes come as the department is down 500 officers and expected to lose a minimum of 66 more in fiscal year 2014-15.

The entire application process for the Phoenix Police Department can be three to five months. Experts say it’s about 18 months from that time before an officer is ready for patrol.

The department is also hiring communications operators and looking for volunteers. For more information, visit phoenix.gov/police/joniphxpd.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com.

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