Governor Doug Ducey has listened to law enforcement leaders from across the State regarding the decline in revenue for essential basic police training and has proposed $837,000 in new funding for the upcoming budget. These monies will be earmarked for the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training (AZPOST) budget. POST is responsible to fund law enforcement academies throughout the State.
POST Board Chairman and Yavapai County Sheriff Scott Mascher said, “On behalf of the Board and all our member agencies, we are extremely grateful for the Governor’s support through this new funding which addresses diminishing revenues for basic police training around the State. This is truly a public safety issue and the Governor’s action will provide monies to continue and enhance the critical training of new police officers.”
In October of 2017, the AZ POST Board, chaired by Sheriff Scott Mascher, met to discuss the critical issue of funding for basic police training. Chiefs and Sheriffs from all over the state provided testimony on these concerns to the Board and the crucial need to maintain staffing levels in light of public safety at their respective agencies. POST has experienced a significant decline in revenue, nearly 33%, over the last ten fiscal years (FY08-FY17). This revenue decline has resulted in an inability to properly support staffing levels, standards and compliance, police basic training, and advanced training; all of which are in support of Arizona Law Enforcement. It is important to note that funding for AZPOST is completely dependent upon monies received from the Criminal Justice Enhancement Fund (CJEF), and is not part of the State’s budget.
The Governor’s Office had been made aware of the declining CJEF revenue. The result has been a shortage of staffing levels at POST which negatively impacts compliance audits, police officer misconduct investigations, advanced in-service training, police basic training academies, and professional administrative support functions. As a result of the decline in revenue, Basic Training monies allocated to academies will need to be modified to accommodate the reductions.
At the October meeting, the following individuals addressed the Board in support of funding for basic training, to offer support in any way in order to obtain this funding and to stress the importance that academies continue to be adequately funded:
The Honorable Mark Brnovich, Arizona Attorney General
Chief Joe Brugman, Safford Police Department
Chief Bryan Jarrell, Prescott Valley Police Department
Sheriff Bill Risen, La Paz County Sheriff’s Office
Sheriff K.C. Clark, Navajo County Sheriff’s Office
Sheriff Mark Napier, Pima County Sheriff’s Department
Sheriff Mark Dannels, President, Arizona Sheriff’s Association
Larry Green, West Yavapai Guidance Clinic
April Rhodes, Spectrum Healthcare
Stuart Bishop, Academy Director, Northern AZ Law Enforcement Training Academy
Many more law enforcement executives were in attendance to show support for restoring the necessary funding.
POST Board members include: Sheriff Scott Mascher, Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, Chairman; Assistant Attorney General Paul Ahler, representing Attorney General Mark Brnovich; Sergeant Leo Aparicio, Pinal County Sheriff’s Office; Sheriff Mark Dannels, Cochise County Sheriff’s Office; Chief Byron Gwaltney, Pima County Sheriff’s Department; Chief Lawrence Hall, Buckeye Police Department; Mr. Andrew LeFevre, Grand Canyon University; Colonel Frank Milstead, Arizona Department of Public Safety; Chief Alan Rodbell, Scottsdale Police Department; Director Charles Ryan, AZ Department of Corrections; Sergeant Chris Andreacola, Tucson Police Department.
Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov