Phoenix, AZ – A Phoenix police officer announced his resignation over the radio after the dispatcher told him that his shift was being held over for mandatory overtime amid a staffing shortage (video below).
Phoenix police have been suffering from the same staffing problems in the wake of George Floyd’s death as many other police departments across the country, KNXV reported.
The Phoenix police force is currently 1,045 patrol officers strong, 51 officers below what is supposed to be the department’s required minimum goal of 1,096 officers on the streets.
The police department has a total of only 2,770 sworn personnel even though the city has budgeted for 3,000, KNXV reported.
There is no limit to how much overtime a Phoenix police officer can work.
There’s also no limit on how much mandatory overtime officers can be ordered to do, and they’ve been pushed to their limits, KNXV reported.
Phoenix Police Officer Mark Rine, a seven-year veteran of the force, announced his resignation at the end of his shift on Nov. 6 after the dispatcher and his supervisor told him that he would have to work later, according to audio recordings of the transmission obtained by media outlets.
The recording showed that Officer Rine notified dispatch that he would be checking off for the night in four minutes at 12:27 a.m.
The dispatcher told Officer Rine that she would check with his lieutenant because “I think we’re also mandatory holdover until the calls go down,” meaning she didn’t know when he would be going home.
A second later, a patrol supervisor got on the radio and told Officer Rine that “we’re being held over for a little bit.”
“If you can get out and answer some calls, I’d appreciate it,” he added in the recording.
Without missing a beat, Officer Rine told the dispatcher that he was done.
“33 Henry – I’ll be going upstairs to fill out my resignation letter then,” Officer Rine said over the radio.
And that was exactly what the officer did, KNXV reported.
“I can no longer work in an environment where equal accountability does not exist,” Officer Rine wrote.
“I can no longer work in an environment where I do other squad and shift’s work, do my own, and then be demanded to do the next shifts work as well,” the resignation letter continued. “I will no longer work in an environment where I am told I cannot go eat until work left from a previous shift is done. I will no longer work in an environment where I am held to a different standard than the shifts, squads, officers, and Lieutenants before.”
“I will no longer work in an environment where a Lieutenant punishes an entire squad, holds over an entire squad, because one or two people will not ‘volunteer’ to hold over,” Officer Rine wrote.
“I will no longer work hard, as hard as I can, work across the city to help as much as I can and then get abused and run over by my chain of command,” the angry officer wrote. “I will no longer work in an environment where politics are more important than doing what is right. I am tired of being used, being abused, running on little food, and little sleep.”
“I resign my position. God will provide,” the letter ended.
Phoenix police confirmed that the department had received Officer Rine’s resignation letter, but a spokesman for the city told KNXV that the officer was still employed by the city at this point.
Ben Leuschner, a Phoenix police lieutenant and current president of the Phoenix Police Sergeants and Lieutenants Association (PPSLA), said officers are retiring and quitting because they don’t feel support from city leadership and they’re constantly under attack by the media, KNXV reported.
“I’ve never seen it this bad, the negativity coming from outside the police department on our members. And that takes a toll,” Leuschner said.
“They feel extremely attacked at times,” the union box explained. “And when you’re in a job where you don’t know if the next call you go on is the end of your career, that leads some people to start going ‘maybe this is not the right career.'”
Listen to Officer Rine’s resignation announcement in the video below: