Phoenix Police Mishandled Hundreds of Cases Involving Kids: Audit


Poor case management and improperly conducted interviews are too common in a Phoenix Police Department unit that investigates crimes against children including abuse and sexual assault, says an internal audit reported by the Arizona Republic. Investigators re-examined 969 cases assigned to the Family Investigations Bureau during a one-year period. It determined that case-management policies were not followed in more than 400 of the cases.

Detectives did not properly document or follow up on interviews with victims, suspects, and witnesses in 279 cases, including some in which investigators relied on state Child Protective Services employees to conduct the interviews. Evidence was not properly handled in 98. In those, detectives failed to collect, process or follow up on evidence adequately, including information collected in medical exams. Acting Phoenix Police Chief Joe Yahner said dealing with the problems “has been and continues to be the Number 1 issue of the Phoenix Police Department.”

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