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Interim Phoenix police chief to focus on working conditions to help retain most experienced cops

To help confront a chronic shortage of officers, Phoenix recently made its police department the highest-paid law enforcement agency in Arizona.

Another strategy for keeping department ranks full is holding onto the most experienced and well-trained officers.

Interim Chief Michael Sullivan said the key is working conditions such as modern facilities, reliable vehicles and well-functioning systems.

“Those types of things need to be improved to be able to make sure that we retain folks,” he said.

Sullivan said his department’s staffing problem did not happen suddenly and fixing it will take time.

Matthew Casey has won Edward R. Murrow awards for hard news and sports reporting since he joined KJZZ as a senior field correspondent in 2015.