After a long consideration, Phoenix, Arizona has now decided to take a step forward on gun control. Phoenix police officers must now document every instance in which they point a gun at a person and then have that document reviewed by their boss.
Other cities have similar requirements: Dallas, Baltimore, Cleveland, New Orleans and Chicago, according to CNN.
The change comes after the community recently stood up and demanded reform in Phoenix’s aggressive police tactics. Two months ago, a city meeting became heated over the issue in which a well-watched video showed an officer pull a gun on a family during a shoplifting investigation outside a Phoenix dollar store in May.
“When a gun is pointed at someone, that’s a traumatic event,” Police Chief Jeri Williams said at a news conference. “I think this is a first step in being … that accountable, transparent organization that is willing to share what we do and how we do it.”
Phoenix has seen a sharp increase in officer-involved shootings, which also prompted the reform.
The National Police Foundation made its recommendation after the city asked it to study a 2018 spike in officer-involved shootings in Phoenix (44 were reported that year, compared to a yearly average of 21 from 2009 to 2017).
“Our community has … said that they want our police department to collect more data around the work they are doing in the field,” Mayor Kate Gallego said at Monday’s news conference. “We know that what you measure is what you focus on.”
The information will be able to be seen and used by the Phoenix police and community. City leaders and residents could use the information to learn how often guns are drawn, on whom they’re drawn, and whether other actions could have been taken instead.